I’m a PhD student here at Open Lab. My research looks at how digital technologies and engaging activities can support young people to make better cities for the future. Urban planners and designers often overlook youth, and I think this is wrong. Prior to this, I worked as an urban planner in local government, and helped to conduct research into high streets and public transport.
So far, I’ve worked with groups of young people aged 8-18 in schools and youth councils. I’ve helped them to identify issues in their local environment and think about how they could address these issues. I’ve done this designing and running lots of different engaging activities and testing out different technologies in these settings. I’m particularly interested in how digital technologies can help young people to gather information about their environment and think about their city in a more critical way. I work closely with youth councils in Tyne and Wear, and have previously worked with a children’s museum and primary schools right across Newcastle.
I’m also interviewing youth workers, council workers, teachers, planners and technology designers. What I hope to find out from these people is just where young people might fit into redesigned civic processes that support their active involvement in making places better.