When Savannah College of Art and Design senior Lauren Brackett was tasked with developing a project that would use interior design to fix a gap in society, she knew she wanted to create something that would benefit her hometown: Santa Clarita.
Brackett chose to focus her design on a conceptual facility called “Third Point” that would benefit the nearly 5,000 young adults ages 16 to 20 in foster care in Los Angeles County, who face disadvantages when they age out of the foster care program.
“I grew up in Santa Clarita, and know firsthand how caring and supportive this city can be when you have an established support system,” Brackett said. “Even though young adults in foster care don’t have that support system now, my objective was that they can gain one from Third Point.”
The facility would also build upon the mission of Fostering Youth Independence (FYI), a local organization that equips foster youth to complete postsecondary education and become independent adults, which was co-founded by Brackett’s friend Stacey Anton.
“Young adults in foster care often have low high school graduation and college attendance rates and don’t have natural mentors to help them with things like study skills, money management and daily living tasks,” Brackett said. “After learning about FYI’s mission and values, I decided to expand upon it and create a dream facility for young adults in foster care.”
As part of the capstone project, Brackett was tasked with finding existing building plans on her own to design her conceptual space. Originally, Brackett looked at using plans from city-owned property, but then she decided to use plans from her own alma mater Trinity Classical Academy, located at 28310 Kelly Johnson Parkway in Santa Clarita.
“I have a personal connection there, as my family was one of the school’s founding families, and I attended Trinity until eighth grade,” Brackett said. “I needed a large building and it was perfect. Many of our friends still work there, so I reached out to a family friend who was able to help me get all the necessary plans to begin designing.”
As she designed Third Point, Brackett incorporated lessons she learned from her interior design professors as well as her own research about young adults in foster care to create a facility that included resources like career counseling and college financial aid in one place.
Brackett also incorporated techniques lessons from her Studio III class, which inspired her to create a workplace that included multiple seating options to increase productivity. She also used clustered and modular seating throughout Third Point to encourage interaction between youth and volunteers.
“It’s important to have a variety of spaces within the building,” Brackett said. “I wanted to apply this to Third Point because it will make the space more comfortable and allow the youth the opportunity to make the space their own.”
When designing Third Point, Brackett also incorporated a computer lab for studying, classrooms for workshops, a testing kitchen to learn life skills, a café for meeting and a rec space for hanging out.
Although Third Point is only conceptual and not a project currently in progress, Brackett believes the facility’s design would benefit any city by providing foster youth with amenities and community members with an opportunity to volunteer.
“I believe that anytime a life can be bettered, it should be,” Brackett said. “Everyone should be afforded the chance at a healthy and successful life, and I believe a facility like this can provide that for many.”
As she prepares to graduate in June, the Valencia native hopes to continue to create spaces that positively impact people and communities.
“The driving force behind my love for interior design has always been the people I design for – whether it’s a population that will benefit from an outreach project, residents of a house or customers at a restaurant,” Brackett said.