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  1. 1. FOREWORDThis report provides an analysis of graduation rates in Indianapolisresearch conducted and a description Public Schools. What emerged wasof the creative solution developed by an incredibly unique solution to thean undergraduate student team from graduation crisis, presented on theHerron School of Art and Design in following pages of this report.Indianapolis Indiana.The results of the research linkedpoor graduation rates to lowsocioeconomic status, a lack ofcaring adult relationships and safetyconcerns. More importantly, researchrevealed that teens at-risk of droppingout have limited or no access toplaces where they can escape fromthe stresses of their school andhome lives. Using this informationas a guide, the team then explored,prototyped and tested several creativesolutions that could help improve
  2. 2. PROJECTINTRODUCTIONAs fulfillment for a Visual found during the first phase. TheCommunications Design senior- third, and final phase focusedlevel course, the student design on developing the best and finalteam Hubco was formed to address prototype to present to communitythe current situation of graduation members.rates at Indianapolis Public Schools.The team spent the entire Fall 2012 During this project, the team engagedsemester focused on developing a in dialogue with local communitycreative design solution that could stakeholders affiliated with at riskhelp local teens at risk of dropping out. youth and education in Indianapolis. One of these stakeholders was RobertHubco conducted the project in Helfenbein, who holds a PHD andthree phases. Phase one included is the Associate Director of thethe research and evaluation of the Center for Urban and Multiculturalcurrent situation of Indianapolis Education. The team also collaboratedgraduation rates and students at risk with Danielle Guerin and Anne West,of dropping out. Phase two consisted co-directors of the Student Successof prototyping several creative Initiative from the Marion Countyapproaches to solving problems Commission on Youth.creating a third place the challenge project introduction
  3. 3. DEFINING THEPROBLEMIn the last decade, declining high a person with at least a high school absence rates, and misbehaviorschool graduation rates have raised diploma (Harlow, 2003). are closely related to a student’smany concerns for educators, parents + Dropouts are more likely to be predisposition to drop out. It isand students nationwide. Each year, unemployed, live in poverty, receive very important to understand androughly 30% of students do not public assistance, go to prison, end up recognize when these warning signsgraduate from high school on time (US on death row, be unhealthy, and get are displayed by at risk students.Department of Commerce, 2009). This issue divorced (Bridgeland, 2006). Studies have found that students whotends to disproportionately affect + High school dropouts earn $24,000 eventually drop out typically displaythe minority and poor populations, on average per year as compared to one or more warning signs in thewhich creates a poverty cycle that is average earnings of $40,000 per year sixth grade: failing either English orextremely difficult to escape. for individuals with a high school math, attendance less than 80 percent credential (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2008). or a mark of unsatisfactory behaviorTHERE ARE MANY NEGATIVE on their report card. It has also beenFACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH A There is no single reason as to why proven that when the same warningSTUDENT’S DECISION TO DROP OUT: students decide to drop out. However, signs were developed after sixth+ Dropouts are more likely to receive studies clearly indicate that low grade, they are not as powerful insome type of government assistance academic success in key subjects, predicting eventual dropouts (Balfanz).and more than eight times as likely tobe in jail or prison compared tocreating a third place the challenge defining the problem
  4. 4. N E E D S S TAT E M E N TIn order to keep students in school, Citizens need to accept responsibilitytheir social, health, economic and contribute to the local communityand family needs, as well as their by providing teens with communityacademic needs must be met. The spaces where they can go to simplyschools alone cannot provide this relax and be with peers withoutkind of support for students. The feeling threatened or excluded. Thecollaboration of local community construction of such a space wouldmembers and organizations is needed provide an outlet for at risk studentsto help solve the drop out crisis. to build relationships with caring adults in the community—increasing their chances of academic success and healthy youth development. “The schools alone cannot provide this kind of support for students.”creating a third place the challenge needs statement
  5. 5. AUDIENCEClearly, early identification of Because of the time span these Research also shows that they havewarning signs is critical to improving students have between their current limited or no community places wheregraduation rates. It is also important situation and the act of dropping they can escape from the stresses ofto identify and understand the out, they have a greater opportunity their school and home lives. A reportstudents who are affected most. If to change their attitudes and of a youth focus group representingstudents are not correctly identified, school performance than their older Marion, Hamilton and Hendricksthen efforts and resources could peers. Most of these teens struggle counties, revealed that “they wantbe wasted. Students enrolled in academically and face other barriers opportunities and a place to go whereIndianapolis Public Schools between to educational attainment such as they can play intramural sports, tothe ages of 12-15 who display early the lack of parental involvement, not learn to cook, manage money, andwarning signs of dropping out are the feeling safe either in school or home learn basic car maintenance and lifeprimary audience. environments and struggling to skills. Most importantly, they want a balance multiple responsibilities. place where they can go and choose from a variety of no-cost activities.” (United Way, 2008) “they want opportunities...”creating a third place the challenge audience
  6. 6. BACKGROUNDAmerican urban sociologist and former professor emeritus of IN HIS BOOK THE GREAT, GOOD PLACE (1989),Sociology, Ray Oldenburg, is best known for his written work OLDENBURG OUTLINES SOME SPECIFICabout the importance of informal public gathering places to CHARACTERISTICS OF THIRD SPACES THAT HEcommunities and public life. He is credited for coining the BELIEVES TO BE ESSENTIAL TO SUCCESS:term “Third Space”. In his book, The Great, Good Place , he + They are on neutral ground. All are welcome,defines the “first space” as the home, the “second space” as the and no one plays “host”workplace and “Third places”, are the public places on neutral + They are a leveler; people of differentground such as bars, coffee shops, pubs and general stores socio-economic strata attendwhere people can gather. Oldenburg argues that “third places” + Conversation is the main activity. Even though theare central to a community’s social vitality and the foundation setting may be a place for drinking, or exercising, orof a functioning democracy. The benefits of a third space serve playing a game, talking is always presentnot only community residents but also the community at large. + They are accessible; there are no physical,For an individual, the third place offers stress relief from the policy, or monetary barriers to entranceeveryday demands of both home and work. For the greater + They are a home away from home. Therecommunity, the third place strengthens community ties through are “regulars” who find the atmospheresocial interaction. It also provides a feeling of safety and security comfortable enough to “root” them thereby being publicly accessible and promoting open and visible + The mood is playful, laughter is often heard, andinteraction (Soukup, C. (2006). wit is prizedcreating a third place the challenge background
  7. 7. SOLUTIONThe Bloc would serve as a third THE GOALS AND OBJECTIVESspace for local Indianapolis teens OF THE BLOC ARE:to socialize and relax away fromhome and school. Because this + To provide a safe place for teens tospace was designed using two be away from school or home.repurposed shipping containers,it could easily be transported or + To provide caring adults for teens toduplicated to reach more teens. The build positive relationships could be located and partneredwith neighborhood centers around + To build community partnershipsIndianapolis. within local neighborhoods. + To motivate and inspire teens who are at risk of dropping out. + To improve graduation rates at local Indianapolis high schools.creating a third place the creative approach solution
  8. 8. CONSTRUCTIONOn August 8, 1989, a United States There are several benefits to shipping Some container companies evenpatent was granted to Phillip C. container architecture. First is offer prefabrication services to haveClark for an invention described the cost. Purchasing a shipping the container altered before a “Method for converting one or container and converting it into a Shipping containers allow for designmore steel shipping containers into building is relatively inexpensive customization as well. The ability toa habitable building at a building compared to the cost of constructing dictate where doors, windows, walls,site and the product thereof.” The a permanent building. Repurposing and facilities are placed ensures thatdocument of this patent contains an existing container is also a more the space can be tailored to a specificdiagrams and information that have environmentally friendly and time use and audience. (Singla, 2011)created the foundation of many efficient. Design and transportationshipping container architectural are also simplified because shippingprojects buildings such as offices, containers are made to standardhomes, apartments, dormitories, art measurements and provide modularstudios and libraries. elements that can be combined.creating a third place the creative approach construction
  9. 9. O P E R AT I O N SThe inside of The Bloc has been We met with teens from the Mariondesigned to be a customizable space. County Commission on YouthThis is appropriate because The Bloc student council to ask them what theyis a temporary space. It may need would like to see inside a space liketo be relocated or the inside may The Bloc. We had them draw floorneed to be rearranged often. What plans and present them at a roundwould go inside would depend on table discussion. The most commonthe community resources available responses are on the page to the right.such as organizations, programs and As a part of The Bloc’s kit, there is avolunteers. More importantly it would flash drive with the audio version ofdepend on the needs and wants of the the round table discussion, the timesstudent members. are listed with the quote.
  10. 10. O P E R AT I O N STHEATER/STAGE AREA LOUNGE AREA PATIO AREA(8:00) “… and then you would have a (4:50) “…Lots of bookshelves with (7:10) “… a green room, that would betheater, which would also double as a good books and college resources.” nice.”stage with surround sound..” (13:50) “ Comfy chairs, like, chairs(15:10) “If local, small bands could play where you can take off your shoes and CAFÉ/KITCHEN AREA– that would be cool.” just recline.” (9:07) “… and a cafeteria with a lot of(5:30) “There would be weekly movie food and snacks”.screenings or open mic night or STUDY/WORK AREAthings like that.” (4:50) “There’s free wi-fi and it’s(6:15) “…dancers, musicians, anyone- really bright and colorful and there’sthey can come.” probably, like, big couches – meeting space; and other comfy chairs for ifTECHNOLOGY LAB you just want to chill or read or do(4:50) “An Ipad lab – so just having homework or something....”computer, ipad access…” (10:10) “There are lots of tables for(8:30) “…a computer lab with free wi-fi, people to do group work”a work out room with a lot of weights,a basketball court and a game roomwith, like, at least ten different flatscreens and game systems…”creating a third place the creative approach operations
  11. 11. THE BLOC BRANDINGDESCRIPTIONInspiration for the identity of The began. The color palette for The Bloc defined in the space, for easyBloc sprouted from the round was chosen for the “hip/cool” factor classification and association. Thetable discussion with the student that teens are looking for, also while symbols are combined with the colorfocus group (also discussed on the staying gender neutral. The logo is to palette, also.operations pages). The students resemble the shape of the shippingand experts were able to contribute container through closure by allowing This brand is a result of both primaryvaluable visual descriptions to begin your eye to form the shape. Using and secondary research that providesthe branding process. Initial visual black and gray, the only neutrals in a voice for the space as well as theresearch was made to study what is the palette, creates a standard for the audience.currently being done with the exterior logo. There may be later uses whenand interior of shipping containers the logo may be converted using thein the world today. Visual research on rest of the large palette. The patternthe branding and identity for brands was created as an exterior for thesuch as MTV and Nike helped to shipping containers, as well as avisually frame the look and feel The visual graphic element to use as anBloc is going for. accent throughout The Bloc, such as the symbols. The symbols are made toAfter initial the initial research phase use as wayfinding within the interiorwas complete, the making space of The Bloc. Each area iscreating a third place the creative approach branding description
  12. 12. LOGO C O L O R PA L E T T EC O L O R VA R I AT I O N Screating a third place the creative approach logo and color
  13. 13. PAT T E R Ncreating a third place the creative approach pattern
  14. 14. SYMBOLSkitchenette work stations restroom miscellaneousconference table screening room patiocreating a third place the creative approach symbols
  15. 15. FLOORPLAN 40’8’ 16’ couch entrancecreating a third place the creative approach floorplan
  16. 16. INTERIOR PERSPECTIVEcreating a third place the creative approach interior perspective
  17. 17. EXTERIOR PERSPECTIVEcreating a third place the creative approach exterior perspective
  18. 18. S I D E E L E VAT I O Nside aside bcreating a third place the creative approach side elevations
  19. 19. F R O N T E L E VAT I O Nfront a front bcreating a third place the creative approach front elevations
  20. 20. CONCLUSIONCreating an environment in our Kaleidoscope Youth Education Center Learning Wellcommunity where all students can Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center Mentors of Americaaccess the support and resources they Peace Learning Center The Bully Prevention Allianceneed to succeed will require members #2: MENTORS Young Audiences of Indianaof the local Indianapolis community. Once open, there would need to be #3: FUNDINGThere are some promising members responsible adults on site during Ideally, the space would also receiveand organizations present in the all hours of operation to help run funding and sponsorship from localIndianapolis community that could activities, programming and events. organizations. Some of these couldget involved to take the next step in These adults could be community include:fixing the drop out crisis. members such as teachers, mentors, Dollars for Scholars#1: LOCATION counselors, coaches, college students or Eli Lilly Co.It could be located and partnered with volunteers from organizations such as: Goodwill Industries of Central Indianalocal community centers, schools and Ace Mentoring National Alliance for Child Safetyother organizations including: Achievement Team Scholarship AmericaConcord Neighborhood Center Attendance Anonymous Teachers Credit UnionFay Biccard Glick Neighborhood College Mentors for Kids Twenty-first Century ScholarsCenter Down But Not Out Communications ProgramForest Manor Multi-Services Center Indiana Youth Group United Way of Central IndianaHawthorne Community Center INDYpendence Job Corps U.S. Department of Education creating a third place conclusion
  21. 21. WORK CITEDBalfanz, R., & Byrnes, V. (2006). Closing the mathematics achievement gap in high-poverty middle schools: Enablers and constraints.Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 11(2), 143-159.Bridgeland, J.M.; Dilulio, J.J.; Morison, K.B. (2006). The Silent Epidemic: Perspectives of High School Dropouts. A report by CivicEnterprises in association with Peter D. Hart Research Associates for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.Harlow, C. W. (revised 2003). Education and Correctional Populations. Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report. Washington, DC: U.S.Department of Justice. <>.Singla, Smita. “7 Benefits of Shipping Container Home Design.” N.p., Aug. 2011. Web. <>.Soukup, C. (2006). Computer-mediated communication as a virtual third place: B Building Oldenburg’s great good places on the worldwide web. New Media & Society, 8, 421–440.United Way of Central Indiana. 2008 COMMUNITY ASSESSMENT CHAPTER 4. United Way, 2008.U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, Current Population Survey (CPS), March 2008.creating a third place work cited