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People & Places

In my thesis "Longing for Belonging: Rediscovering Community Through Third Places," I embarked on a journey to explore the transformative potential of community spaces.

One project from my research, "People & Places," exemplifies my commitment to this thesis by creating vibrant third spaces where people can connect, create, and belong.


The project began with a speculative design process, resulting in two experiential typologies illustrated as postcards. Drawing from research insights and focusing on the pillars outlined in the Surgeon General's National Strategy to Advance Social Connection, I honed in on Strengthening Social Infrastructure, Deepening Our Knowledge, and Cultivating a Culture of Connection. This process helped me create a true third space where people could authentically engage with one another.

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The People & Places event, held on March 23, 2024, at the Neighbor community center in Chelsea, brought together young artists, designers, and creatives for a unique collaborative art project. Combining the energy of a street art jam with the impact of public art installations and the collaborative spirit of a community mural project, the event aimed to activate the third space by inviting passersby to actively participate in the creative process.


Attendees were encouraged to contribute to a communal art piece through a blind drawing activity, where they drew the portrait of the person in front of them without looking at the paper. This clever icebreaker not only sparked conversations but also fostered connections as participants shared laughs and exchanged stories. Additionally, participants were invited to reflect on the meaning of community through writing, sketching, or visualizing their thoughts on post-it notes.

The success of the event was evident in the joy and camaraderie shared by participants. Many expressed gratitude for the opportunity to meet new people and engage in meaningful conversations. By transforming the Neighbor community center into a vibrant hub of creativity and connection, this People & Places event exemplifies the power of art and community to combat loneliness and foster a sense of belonging.

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