YUP! | Youth Urbanism Project is a Design+Culture Lab Initiative geared toward the youth population of marginalized communities. YUP! is based on an inclusionary urbanism, which engages young people to increase their civic awareness through a  participatory design process. At Design+Culture Lab we believe that young people hold the potential to create positive impact within their communities. Our mission is to empower marginalized urban youth to transform their urban environment. Using a workshop series framework, developed in a previous pilot project, Fresh Press, YUP! will participants will engage in various mapping, strategic planning and community outreach activities to effect change in their communities.

YUP! will address the disconnect between community members and the urban design process. Often times community members are excluded from the processes which shape their communities. At Design+Culture Lab we believe that community members are integral stakeholders to this process, who deserve a seat at the table. We believe that young people are assets to their community, as they possess an especially unique perspective of the urban landscape. YUP! will engage young people to first understand the needs of their community. YUP! will then provide the opportunity for these young people to leverage the skills developed; cognitive mapping, photojournalism, design and research to transform their environment. As youth investigate and prioritize community problems, they become increasingly empowered to propose the design interventions which will most benefit their communities

Pilot Photojournalism Method, Fresh Press Project


YUP! is based on the Research and Design philosophy of the Design+Culture Lab. Utilizing a workshop methodology, we will partner with elementary schools or after-school programs to engage their youth population in this innovative community development initiative. YUP! participants will learn and use new tools including photo-voicing, surveying, and data collection to investigate current conditions of their communities, evaluate findings and propose solutions, all the while documenting their stories and those of their fellow community members. YUP!’s enriching workshops emphasize a critical analysis of urban communities, from the perspective of those most affected by choices made in the design process.