Over a two year period beginning January 2006, LowDO collaborated on the design of a new youth center for UTEC, a 'by-teens, for-teen, multicultural safehaven' in downtown Lowell. While the city of Lowell seeks an identity beyond its heritage dating from the American industrial revolution, today’s young generation seeks a collective voice within the city’s urban politics. The teen center offers 20 weekly programs to over 1500 youth each year.
LOWDO began a joint process with the Youth Design of United Teen Equality Center to articulate a vision for UTEC’s new teen center. Top priorities included learning about ‘green’ building strategies and developing a core group of young people with an understanding of not only how different aspects of UTEC interact organizationally, but also their specific spatial requirements. Through design charrettes and field trips teens learned more about architecture and tested their own ideas for the new UTEC against a host of precedents.