An Autistic Auto-Ethnographic Walk

I’m so pleased to announce that my film ‘An Autistic Auto-Ethnographic Walk’ has won the ‘Research Film’ award at the University of Reading’s Doctoral Conference.

This film is an auto-ethnographic walk, meaning that it is my perspective. This film highlights the lack of high-quality research regarding the authentic female autistic experience. I hope this silent film goes some way to explain the importance of asking ‘how do autistic women appropriate public space?’



Lefebvre, (1991), states that public space is a social construct and therefore should be malleable to the needs of society; reflecting and accommodating the natural neurodiversity that exists within humanity (Gardener, 2022). My focus regards the urgent need for an authentic female autistic voice within the future design of the built environment. Cosgrave (2022) defines microaggressions as ‘subtle’ or ‘indirect’ discrimination against a marginalised group which, experienced over time, significantly impacts the individual. A hybrid perceptual model will be informed autistic perception of locomotion through the built environment, with an aim to codify female autistic experiences, both positive and negative. Through this autistic embodied knowledge will be integrated into future design of the built environment, mitigating, and removing perceptual barriers to access (Boys, 2018)

My theoretical framework has evolved to have Critical Realist ontology, Constructionist epistemology and Grounded Theory methodology. This framework will enable me to be flexible and responsive to the needs of the research participants whilst exploring which elements of urban design stimulate autistic women.

I am now in the process of making a series of screen prints based on this film. The equipment used to make these prints has been funded by CPRA.

Auto-Ethnographic walk

I would like to thank my doctoral supervisory team: Dr Carolina Vasilikou, The Manchester School of Architecture Professor Kathy Pain, The Henley Business School Associate Professor, The University of Reading I would also like to thank SeNSS for funding my PhD scholarship.

To see other conference highlights, click here.