DEFINING THE PROBLEM: A major issue in Chicago is violence and crime. The numbers of murders, shooting incidents, and gang violence continue to rise, and crime rates and levels of violence remain high. 50%-60% of urban youth are exposed to neighborhood violence.
GATHERING INFORMATION: For inspiration I first researched three different case studies of youth centers with goals and needs similar to my own: The Hamilton Grange Teen Center in New York, US, the Gary Comer Youth Center in Chicago, US, and a Youth Centre Design in Lille, France. I interviewed a Chicago high school student and a Chicago social worker as potential clients. They encouraged me to include an art space in my design, which I hadn’t yet considered. Finally, I researched potential locations, finally finding a spacious lot in a neighborhood where violence is common and a teen center is most needed.
VISION: I formulated the necessary elements to include in my design, and began to configure the layout and flow of the building in a bubble diagram. I used a mood board of materials, colors, elements, and inspirations collaborating to form the wanted aesthetic.
RESPONSE: I began designing potential floor plans, planning the locations and sizes of rooms and spaces. I came up with three possible designs, and converted one of them (which I decided I would pursue)into a 3-dimensional Lego model. As a final step in my design, I used all of research and planning in my SketchUp model, where I decided on exact measurements, final materials, and additional elements.
FEEDBACK: In the comments below, please share:
What would you want to see at a teen center as a high school student? What interests would you want to be fulfilled?
Do you think this teen center would make a difference/positive impact in the lives of Chicago youth?
How can you encourage your community to be involved?