Through auto-photography, journaling and interviews with six freshman students at
North High School in Minneapolis, this study explores how “insideness” is constructed
and the role the school environment plays in the process. Conceiving of the environment
in terms of scales, the analysis delves into the ways in which different scales of the
interior environment intersect with the construction of identity and how these interactions
affect the establishment of “insideness.” In parallel, the discussion unravels the cultural
and societal structures as well as power dynamics that are also implicated in this process
of identity construction. The study’s four major findings are: (1) The process of
“insideness” construction is contingent not only on the intentions of the individual yet
also the scales of the environment; (2) students’ perceptions of environmental scales—
from elements, such as doors to the nation—intertwine and inform one another;
(3)“Insideness” is both an inward and outward directional concept; and (4) Wall planes
are primary constructors of identity within the interior environment. Theoretical and
practical implications of these findings, for both the design and education community, are given.
University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. September 2012. Major: Design. Advisor: Tasoulla Hadjiyanni, PhD. 1 computer file (PDF); iv, 64 pages, appendix A.
Strickland, Aileen Renee.
My school and me: exploring the relationship between school environment and student identity.
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