The built environment plays an important role in the healthy and positive development of adolescents. Designers can help to ensure that the places where young people learn, live and play are responsive to the unique needs of this age group. In many instances, property owners and clients seek to limit the use of these places by adolescents and designers are charged with creating a place that excludes, instead of facilitates, their desired activities. This presentation will provide information that will empower designers to advocate for adolescent-friendly places as well as methods for engaging young people in design decisions.
Review four primary adolescent developmental tasks -- building self-esteem, establishing satisfying social relationships, managing free time effectively, and developing a sense of social responsibility.
Understand the connection between developmental tasks and the built environment, i.e. the developmental affordance of place, and youth participation.
Learn about the types of places and activities that are most important to adolescents in western cultures.
Review design decisions that have negative or non-supportive impacts on adolescents.
Learn techniques and timing for engaging young people in design decision processes.