College of Architecture, Art and Construction

‘No Place to Play:’ Exhibit explores how gender shapes teens’ access to public spaces


A touring exhibit by Clemson University architecture students will dive into the issue of gendered differences in teenagers’ access to places of play in India and the Philippines.

The exhibit, titled “No Place to Play,” sheds light on the ways in which gender and dispossession, a type of gentrification linked to rapid economic development projects, impact how and if teenagers play in their communities.

“We are so excited to bring this award-winning research to the Upstate community through our opening exhibition at the Monaghan Gallery in Greenville. Our interdisciplinary group of undergraduate and graduate students have collaborated on the design and construction of all materials to tell these teenagers’ stories of growing up in communities with ‘no place to play,’” said School of Architecture Professor Lyndsey Deaton, who served as the study’s primary researcher. “Through the curated exhibit, we hope to bring awareness to the importance of safe, comfortable, and convenient public space for teenagers, especially those who live in lower-income communities at risk of gentrification.”

Based on a larger study of the same name conducted by Deaton, the exhibition specifically highlights the finding that gentrification reduces the distance girls will walk around their communities to one-third of the distance boys walk.

Deaton said the findings are critical for communities experiencing rapid growth, as teens without safe, comfortable, and accessible play spaces are more likely to fall victim to violence and suffer developmental impairments.

“The findings of this international research project reveal that without access to healthy public space, teenagers around the world are susceptible to violence and developmental risks,” shared Deaton.

Through pictures, models and an immersive experience, visitors will learn about the state of teens’ hangouts in dispossessed communities in India and the Philippines.

Working with Deaton, the Clemson students will share their perspectives relating the study to the Greenville, Charleston, Columbia and Clemson communities. This unique exhibit challenges visitors to reflect on the places their “hangout” places and consider the similarities and differences with those of the teens in this study.

“No Place to Play” invites visitors to consider how access to places of play is not a given for everyone and ponder ways in which they can create more inclusive and equitable hangout spaces for teenagers. The exhibit, which is free and open to the public, will open in Greenville on April 22 and will tour in Charleston, Columbia and Clemson throughout the year.

Event times and gallery locations are available at

Dates and locations:

·       Greenville – April 22-May 21 – Monaghan Mill Gallery
·       Charleston – July 29-September 10 – Redux Gallery
·       Columbia – October 20-December 1 – Center for Architecture
·       Clemson – December 10-31 – Robert Muldrow Cooper Library

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