Trailblazing: Empowering Rural Youth Through Mobile Architecture
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This thesis proposes a network of small-scale architectural interventions to address a growing issue of youth substance abuse in rural Nova Scotia, Canada. Thorburn, a hub of a larger region of dispersed communities, acts as a testing ground for this proposal. An extensive system of trails and cabins currently provides both a means of transportation and informal, unsupervised gathering space for youth. Four test sites were chosen to represent a wide range of possible sites. Each exists at an intersection between these trails and the public realm. Each of these sites could not, on its own, sustain an active year-round program. On-site interventions are partnered with a mobile youth centre whose presence at each site is influenced by seasonal use and special events. Each site is modified to create flexible spaces whose function adapts to, but is not limited by, the presence of the youth centre.