Date of Award
Master in Interior Architecture
Eduardo Benamor Duarte
Young men are dying in the custody of law enforcement in the United States in rates that are unappropriated to the population. Many of these men are often unarmed. This thesis proposes the creation of an Enrichment Center where a young man, between the ages of eight years to twenty years old, will gain help with homework, guidance through daily life challenges and personal mentorship as they head into the workforce.
Providing a space that also encourages an increase in high school graduation rates among Black and Hispanic men, we can eliminate this negative conflict between men of color and the police.
By using an abandoned police station in Brooklyn,this new space will be called, The Enrichment Center, we will reverse the withdrawn nature of the police station. An examination of the historical modes of use within the police station reveals parallels between mentorship centers and police stations. Both spaces host groups of mainly males; there are protocols of ranking and areas of accessibility within the building based on the users’ level of authority and seniority.
This project will investigate a methodology for creating a variety of conditions within public spaces, from private spaces and activity nooks to larger communal mixed use spaces. Positive interactions between adult and peer mentors are at the core of mentorship programs. In the Enrichment Center there will be daily one-on-one interaction between the police as the mentors, the young boys and men. As the users, and the community of this Brooklyn neighborhood. The community will have access to the community rooms, media center and complimentary meal service. There will be free wi-fi and charging stations.
Marginalized people have limited access to the resources that aid a person with both general life skills as well as career skills, as they reach adulthood. Adversity can cause problems with a young child’s mental stability and ability to learn. This Enrichment Center will fill in these gaps where public education cannot or the funding has ended. This building will provide access to arts education such as music, fine arts and performance; access to nutrition, mental healthcare and fitness.
It has been said that the clothes make the man. What about the buildings make the man? Environments inform us from the moment we leaves the womb. Why not provide a safe space for people that is enriched with art, diversity and community? There is no reason to not include those who are less fortunate into our communities. The world will gain from the experiences of all.
McKinnon, Ann, "We can be heroes: enriched spaces for men of color" (2016). Masters Theses. 48.
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