'How can we design a space for today's young people, which can be replicated nationally, providing experiences and opportunities to challenge the negative stereotypes often associated with the generation?'
My final year thesis project is focused on creating a set of design principles, applied to differing sites to provide opportunities for young people nationally and create the opportunity for equality for a successful future generation, known as Gen-A. There is currently little youth provision in the UK, with little funding available for these services. Many current youth services are outdated and successful models are few and far between. The population now has more young people than ever before, and there are many who face disadvantages in life, whether that is at home, at school, those suffering with mental health or social difficulties.
My project focuses on breaking down current outdated models which keep young people segregated from the community and design a small scale masterplan, tested on a site in Gorton, East Manchester, aiming to connect the general public to the young people and provide facilities for education, jobs, social opportunities and youth accommodation, bringing regeneration to a deprived area. One of these spaces, the Gen-A building, is then developed further, and focuses on generating a set of design principles that can be applied to differing sites that can be replicated nationally, offering equal experiences for young people in disadvantaged areas. This is achieved through 2 outputs, the first ‘A Guide for Local Authorities’, is a guide showing the development of the project from a small scale masterplan to the design of the Gen-A building. It is aimed at informing local authorities of how to apply this set of design principles to their own areas in a different way. The second, ‘The Youth Experience’, is a series of comic strips aimed at the young people of Gorton as a marketing strategy, giving them an insight into how their space has been brought to life.