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Spring 2009

Celebrating the Culture of Teenage Girls

Stacy Griffin

IAPD 606 Fayez Husseini

Inside: > > > >

program research inspiration & concept design

mix [Table of Contents]

culture + exhibit center introduction to the project 3 - Project Description 4 - Objectives 6 - Alterations to Original Program

research 7 - Sources 8 - Research Group 10 - Findings mix [ 1 ]

the design 12 - Parti

28- Level 2

13 - Name + Logo

31 - Elevations

14 - Site / Context

32 - Sections

15 - Level 1 (Plan)

33 - Reflected Ceiling Plans

17 - “Mood Wall�

35 - Design Process

18 - Level 2 (Plan) 19 - Exterior Perspectives 21 - Reception 22 - Lounge Area 24 - Main Space 26 - Podium 27 - Restroom

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Introduction Project Description THE original program for this project was to select a city, state, or country, and to create a facility that would celebrate and provide information on the culture of the chosen location. Instead of selecting a geographical location, I chose to focus on a demographic group: teenage girls. My goal was to design a space for this American “subculture.� I was given a building form, which is a space on the corner of a larger building, in a sort of mall context. I was given the freedom to manipulate the facade, but for the most part my task was to focus on the interior. This space needed to be able to accommodate many different activities for teen girls. Some of the required spaces included a reception area, a performance/lecture/discussion area, a resource wall area, and an intimate listening/study area. Over the course of the project, I made many additions that I felt necessary to create a space that truly captures the essence of what it is to be a teenage girl. As well as the space planning, I also designed appropriate furniture and lighting, and created a logo and graphic identity for the facility. mix [ 3 ]


• To provide information about the culture of teenage girls • To provide resources to help teen girls grow as individuals • To provide opportunities for them to meet their role models and other successful women in various fields • To provide a place to interact with other teenagers in a fun, safe environment

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envisioned activities . . .


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alterations to original program


The intention of the design and of the activities intended to take place in this center will not be focused so much on the past / history of teenage girls, or even on their present . . . but on their future: helping them grow as individuals, and connect with one another and with the community.

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[ [ [

Some Wore Bobby Sox: The Emergence of Teenage Girls’ Culture, 1920-1945 KELLY SCHRUM

] ] ]

A fascinating look into the history of how “teenage girls” came into existence as a subculture of America. Focuses especially on high-school age girls as a consumer group, and addresses issues such as the growing importance of dress and image, and the impact of Hollywood.

Alpha Girls: Understanding the New American Girl and How She Is Changing the World DAN KINDON, PH.D This book addresses how girls today see themselves, both as a group and individually. The conclusion? Girls see themselves as strong and empowered. Teenage girls today are growing up in an environment that tells them they are capable of success in any field. These girls don’t see themselves as the “weaker sex;” they are ready to conquer the world!

Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls RACHEL SIMMONS An in-depth look at the astounding intricacy of social relationships among pre-teen and teen girls. Addresses American society’s impact on the way girls believe they ought to behave, and how they deal with the disparity between the “good girl” image and the things they actually feel. Special focus is on the passive aggression and subtle manipulation that takes the place of physical or verbal conflict.

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Research Team ALTHOUGH it hasn’t been that long since I was a teenage girl myself, I decided it would be beneficial to have a group of actual teenage girls to provide additional insight and feedback on some of my ideas. A group of girls ages 12-19 agreed to help me out!

“i like modern! clean lines, lots of windows and spaciousness!” - GRACE “i like to do things with my friends that people don’t do everyday...go iceskating, paint mugs, maybe go for a walk. i like doing these random things because they make great memories and are usually loads of fun” - DANIELLE

“my favorite place to hang out would probably be just a living room” - ALLIE


Samantha, Wendy, Allie, & Polly Cacy. Grace & Hannah Griffin. Danielle Brady. Jessica Jansen. Emily Priest. mix [ 8 ]

Exploring . . . • History of “teenage girls” as a group • Relationship to consumer culture • How girls today see themselves . . . empowered . . . • Two main facets to a girl’s identity: individuality & connection to / relationships with others • What do they value? • How do they relate with their peers?

• What is important to them in a space? I gave them six words that I wanted to describe the “feeling” of the space:

FEMININE. YOUTHFUL. MODERN. ELEGANT. ENERGETIC. COMFORTABLE. I asked them first to tell me what other words or concepts they might associate with the words I gave them. Then I asked them to put these six words in order of what characteristics they felt were most important in a space.

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Some of the other words they responded with:

Feminine: Pink. Pretty. Flowers. Smiles. Girly. Timid. Graceful. Tender.

Elegant. Frail.

Youthful: Energetic. Potential. Friendly. Optimistic. Hopeful. Eager.

Excited. Expectant. Trusting. Ambitious. Fun.


Creative. Unique. Different. Convenient. Clean. Simple. Up-to-date. New. Technology. Abstract.

Elegant: Expensive. Grand. Overwhelming. Sparkly. New. Clean. Breakable. Calm. Special. Royalty. Graceful.

Energetic: Purpose. Goal. Exciting. Spicy. Interesting. Unusual. Eager.

Sunny. Cheerful. Bright. Spontaneous.

Comfortable: Soft. Warm. Friends. Sofa. Fireplace.. Space. Blankets. Pillows. Cozy.

Discovering . . . mix [ 10 ]

The most common ranking: 1- Comfortable. 2 - Youthful. 3 - Energetic. 4 - Modern. 5 - Feminine. 6 - Elegant.

FUN over

sophistication mix [ 11 ]

The Design Parti Parti (pahr-TEE), noun: The basic scheme or concept of an architectural design. Can refer to a simple drawing or diagram which represents a design strategy.

• The female gender • Feminism • The goddess Venus/Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty • Stylized representation of her hand mirror? • Circle = unity, connection to others, being part of a group • Cross = individualism, uniqueness, separate identity apart from group • Represents the two basic elements of a girl’s identity • Becomes a form generator (abstracted) mix [ 12 ]

Name + Logo

THE NAME of the center was intended to sound more like a restaurant or club name than an educational facility. I wanted it to sound “cool,” like someplace fun that teenage girls would want to go to hang out. I liked that the word “mix” was simple, short, and fun to say. I felt that it represents two important aspects of the facility: first, that a variety or “mix” of different activities will take place in it, and also that teenage girls will “mix” and interact with other girls here. THE LOGO combines the name of the facility, the graphic symbol of Venus [see Parti, pg. 12], and an abstracted letter “g” (for “girl”). The colors are those used in the overall design scheme: pink (the color which arguably represents the female gender, especially younger females), lime green (connotative of life and energy), and black and white.

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abstracted symbols of logo

Site / Context



Although my task was not to design the “mall� context in which my project is located, I did do a little bit of thinking as to how it might be situated. This is not meant to be a design for the mall; rather, it is to give someone who might be unfamiliar with the project a possible context for this facility.

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plan - level 1 1


2 3



main space


stage / podium



lobby / lounge







10 retail wall mix [ 15 ]


7 5


8 9

10 3




lecture / presentation

yoga / fitness class

elevation view of storage unit private party

A multi-purpose space . . . mix [ 16 ]

level 1 - “mood wall”

“The E4 Moodwall invites the audience to become part of its atmosphere, to break with conventional behavior and to move the wall into strange patterns and shapes. The Installation is currently in final stages of preparation for permanent placement in de Amsterdamse Poort shopping center, Amsterdam South East district. The E4 Moodwall is developed by Matthias Oostrik in collaboration with Urban Alliance.”


For more information and to see a video of the E4 Moodwall installation, go to: mix [ 17 ]

plan - level 2 “signature wall” storage

stairs restroom elevator

chandelier open to below

“movie wall”

movable seating “resource wall” “art wall” “posting wall”

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exterior views

view of entry from inside the “mall”

Welcome to mix [ 19]


night view from inside mall

view of exterior from street

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reception desk

Floor Materials black granite

retail wall white marble mix [ 21 ]

lobby / lounge > bottom shelf for placing purses, drinks, or personal items > top shelf for displaying art or other work created by the girls > shelves are LED-lit panels that change color from green to pink and back again when touched > mirrors behind them reflect light and color back into the space

stools fit into tables to save space (see pg 23)

niches cut into wall provide opportunity for display of larger items

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lobby / lounge

night view seating

Walls - Mosaic Glass Tile

design process sketch

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main space

A space with different moods . . . day view

night view - “mood wall”

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main space

. . . a space of many faces.

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podium solid white acrylic translucent white acrylic

The two levels of the “stage� sink into the floor to allow handicap access or to provide more space. The podium has a removable shelf which fits into notches of varying height to allow for changing speaker height. The podium itelf also sinks into the stage and then into the floor with the flip of a switch, allowing additional flexiblity in height, and conveniently storing the podium when not in use.

section detail

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Walls - Mosaic Glass Tile

design process - sketch

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level 2 detail - ceiling


signature wall will be a plain white wall

equipped with markers, for the girls to sign their names, write notes to each other, draw cartoons, and in general make their mark on the space in a fun way.

detail - chandelier

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level 2 The art wall is a special place for the girls to display any of their 2D creations, from paintings to drawings to photography.

The “posting wall� is actually a large screen onto which images can be projected. This wall will be equipped with a scanner so that girls can scan in something from a book or magazine that they thought interesting, or put up photos of themselves, in what will become a unique collage that each girl has participated in creating.

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A series of movable ligh to move sources of task and also provides the g engage with the space

The goal of the mov was to interlock and tesselating forms fit to create larger piec or roll apart for indiv area of the facility is have an intimate en which to learn abou and culture.

hts on a track system allows the girls k lighting to where they need them, girls with another enjoyable way to and manipulate their surroundings.

Artificial lights mimic the brightness and openness of skylights while allowing control over the amount of light in the space.

The movie wall has a large screen for girls to watch movies in groups.

The resource wall will hold books, DVDs, and other informational material about the culture of teenage girls. It will also store portable DVD players and headphones.

This storage wall in the main space of the ground floor is for the support of the various activities to take place. There are cabinets for storage, sinks for washing up after a meal or an art class, and shelves that can either be used for more storage or for display.

vable seating d interact. These into each other ces of furniture, vidual use. This where girls can vironment in ut their history

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reflected ceiling plan - level 1

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reflected ceiling plan - level 2

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design process

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Project for 4th Year Design Studio Department of Interior Architecture + Product Design College of Architecture, Planning, + Design Kansas State University The only photography I claim as my own is the cover image. All renderings and sketches belong to me. Project was modeled and rendered in Autodesk Revit Architecture 2009.


A design studio project. 4th year Interior Architecture + Product Design College of Architecture, Planning, + Design Kansas State University


A design studio project. 4th year Interior Architecture + Product Design College of Architecture, Planning, + Design Kansas State University