Children who attend schools in high poverty, urban areas are already receiving certain messages about “their future place”, based on stereotyped beliefs of race, class, socio-economic status or other factors. While there have been numerous investigations into how these factors affect a student’s educational identity and success, the built environment has been largely absent from the discussion. The school environment serves as the context for a child’s learning, social interactions, and critical stages of identity development yet little is known about the active role it may play in shaping the child. This study seeks to explore the varying ways by which an interior school environment informs the identity definition of the child, specifically within the context of a high poverty urban neighborhood. The study is encompassed within IAPS’s (2.1) Person-Environment Congruence in Urban and Natural Environments.While concepts of place-identity have been investigated since the 1970’s, current calls for how to go about exploring the relationship between environment and identity ask for a focus on the ‘process’ by which identity is constructed (Lewicka, 2011). To address this need, the study will use Erikson’s identity model as a foundation to inform the process of identity construction and apply it to the ways in which identity and physical interactions are related. In order to explore the possible degree to which place and identity may interact at a point in time, the concept of “insidedness”(Relph,1976), developed with place literature, will be employed.This will be a phenomenological, qualitative study, using interviews and auto-photography to explore the relationship between interior environment and identity. Participants of the study will be 10 freshman students from a Minneapolis high school, located in a high poverty area and data collection will be carried out in two stages. First, participants will take photographs of self-selected interior elements and simultaneously record their thoughts, feelings and attitudes. This data will inform semi-structured, open interviews that will elicit a greater understanding of the relationship between selected interior elements and individual student. Analysis will follow procedures typical with this type of research.The expectation is that this study will provide a greater understanding as to how elements of the interior school environment may effect students’ identity. The results will have implications for the design of spatial characteristics, such as layout, finishes or daylight access and provide insight into environmental factors that support a child’s educational success. A greater understanding of this relationship will contribute to the development of place-identity theory and help construct a solid foundation for the teaching and practice of holistic design.