Youth center, Muncie-Indiana : a design proposal of a new alternative for a youth center

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Maciel, Julia A.
Costello, Anthony J.
Issue Date
Thesis (M. Arch.)
Department of Architecture
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I believe that a work of man serves him for it is a product of his physical and mental needs, but as man lives in society his works should serve himself and society if he is to live in peace within a larger context...Anthony C. AntoniadesI agree that a work of architecture can not be conceived as separate from the communal sphers of environmental design such as urban design and urban planning. Architecture and urban design when balanced create the equilibrium between personal (or individual) needs and communal (or collective) needs of a certain communal order. Small-scale Architecture (architecture of individual buildings) and large-scale architecture (urban design-urban planning), considering both individual and collective needs, create and maintain peaceful co-existance among the members of society.While considering potential topics for my creative project, I was led toward a topic which involved working in a neighborhood, developing an architectural program with its urban space, while working together with the people in "the shaping of their environment" in such a way that the final product or "built environment" would be the closest response to the needs of these people of this particular place, for I will be developing a program based on their needs. I believe that the "design of the environment" is the organization of four components which are: space, time, meaning and communication. I also believe that if the work is done on the basis of the needs of the people, then, the result may be that the DESIGN or the "purposeful change" of the above four components and their physical expression achieves real worth.I finally got the answer to what I was looking for when I found that help was needed in the community of Muncie. There is an area of low income housing located on South Madison Street. There is a Youth Center located on the same street surrounded by housing that needs an extension. I then decided to do for my thesis a creative project for the Youth Center based on the needs of the people. To achieve this task, I interviewed the people at the center to find out their needs. I also did a research on the latest architectural projects related to this topicThis creative project proved to be an excellent opportunity for me to fulfill a design task based on the emotional and other non-pragmatic needs of the people and the most important which is the opportunity to get involved with reality.I truly believe that Architecture should be a tool for people, a means to the brotherly union of the human race, an incentive for catharsis. This should be the relationship of Architecture and society.