Catherine Purple Cherry and her son Matthew
A Purposeful Life
Designing special buildings for individuals with special needs is Catherine Purple Cherry's calling. As the founder of Purposeful Architecture, she is also the mother of an adult son on the Autism spectrum and sibling of a Down Syndrome brother. Through her lifelong observations of this brother and children—as well as her support team of doctors, teachers and in-home technicians—Cathy has an acute awareness of the needs of both individuals with special needs and their caregivers. And just as she advocates for her family, Cathy is a forceful advocate for her clients, whether assisting with developing heartfelt and insightful marketing materials, planning functional and nurturing spaces or advising on effective interiors.
Special Buildings for Individuals
with Special Needs
Purposeful Architecture is an architecture firm committed to creating spaces that foster thoughtful learning and living environments that inspire creativity and individuality in our children and adults with special needs. Our work addresses the dynamic challenges that a person with a disability must face on a daily basis. Purposeful Architecture thinks outside of the box and finds solutions that are always individual-centered. While we realistically accept an individual's disability, we believe those limitations should never be allowed to restrict that individual's progress toward personal independence. Our architecture is designed so these individuals can feel safe and motivated to engage in a learning and living environment that truly belongs to them.
In Purposeful Architecture, we carefully evaluate relevant triggers and environmental issues for both individuals with disabilities and caregivers, including:
- Personal and Social Space
- Distraction inhibitors
- Durability of Materials
- Time Out Rooms
- Acoustics and Other Auditory Issues
- Colors, Patterns and Tactile Issues
- Outdoor Spaces, Including Security and Independence Issues
- Technology and Multimedia Applications
Purposeful Architecture recognizes opportunities throughout the entire design process - from the intitial steps of planning to the selection of materials - to create buildings that support individuals with special needs. Cathy's unique sensitivity and understanding is readily evident in projects that successfully support this incredible group of individuals; spaces that elevate their self-esteem and that continuously reinforce learning, growing, life and vocational skills, and ultimately lead to independence as defined by their abilities.