You Belong Here

Belonging is being somewhere you want to be and where others want you to be, too. Belonging is being accepted as you! 

This is how architects, designers, and educators kicked off a discussion on the idea of belonging within place with over 80 elementary, middle, and high school students attending the 2022 AD EX Designing My Future K-12 Summer Camps. In the camp program, students not only learned about career paths in architecture, design, and engineering, but also explored how to use design to become better stewards of their neighborhoods and champions for a more functional, beautiful, and equitable city. 

As a warmup exercise, campers were asked: What is a place or space where you feel belonging? They were then challenged to sketch that place. Although the sketches varied, there were some popular responses, with home, their room, or the homes of loved ones taking the top spots. Other top responses included locations designed to be child-centric (LEGOLAND Discovery Center and KidZania) and popular field trip and family destinations (Dallas Zoo and theaters). Interestingly, parks and schools didn’t make the students’ lists. 

As you view a few of the sketched responses, as selected by the Columns editors, we pose same the question to you: What is a place or space where you feel belonging? And we hope that a public space makes your list. 

Want to join in? Send your sketch to 

Boone Griffin, Age 7, Dallas, TX
My grandparents’ house

Sophia Rodriguez-Najar, Age 17, Frisco, TX
My room

Ethan Meade, Age 9, Murphy, TX
My house

Izabella Paletykina Cantu, Age 8, Dallas, TX
My house

Leia Ching-Savostina, Age 8, Qatar
321 Museum

Sofia Baker, Age 12, Dallas, TX
My imagination

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