A child’s notion and perception of identity can change to develop within him or her a greater amount of societal awareness. This change can take place via a journey through a series of experiences relating to various aspects of identity.
In what ways can the built environment help shape a child’s notion and perception of identity to provide a greater degree of societal awareness that can help him or her develop into more sensitive adults?
On one level the question, “Who am I?” can be answered quite effortlessly; however, to convey one’s true identity, a complex answer is necessary. The answer might entail several characteristics serving as a description of a person, the perception of oneself and how one would like to be viewed by others. In other words, this list of characteristics can provide a person’s identity, a very dynamic aspect of the human being shaped through the environment around the individual as well as how one views oneself. Identity changes constantly because of different experiences and the different environments. During early childhood, specifically those prior to eight years of age, discovery of the individual identity is made and then developed infinitely in life. Children interact socially with one another at a more sophisticated level than most adults may recognize. Since identity is driven largely by what others may think of one, it is important to know that the ostracizing comment a child is making to another is not to be ignored. The main goal of this thesis is to minimize ostracizing comments made by young children. Such a task can be completed by exposing each individual to the experiences of others through different types of play. Through play, the child can then create a story to understand and process experiences with others. A story that will be stored for a lifetime to come.
Methodology: Childhood is a general term alluding to the playful period of time in a human's life filled with stories and imagination. The research performed for this thesis is in reference to early childhood, the time between the ages of three to eight, a time when children are meshing the worlds of reality and imagination. Often, visualizations are used to explain concepts to young children, who might not yet be proficient in a spoken language. With this in mind, maps can serve as a visualization of a story. In essence, a map is explaining how to get from start to end and what might happen in between, the basic structure of children stories. With this in mind the story of Children + Identity begins.
Basic Story Structure: Status Quo->Initial Problem->Exposition->Complications->Crisis->Climax->Denouement
Location: The North End, Burlington, VT