What does it mean to be 17 in 2017? This issue of Harvard Design Magazine checks in with teens of all sorts—humans, buildings, objects, ideas—and their impact on the spatial imagination. Like a bildungsroman for the built environment, “Seventeen” dives into the treacherous, exhilarating limbo of the teen years to understand and reclaim this global adolescence.
Adolescence is characterized as an age of confusion, alienation, sexual awareness, independence, and resistance. But “teen spirit” also encompasses the full spectrum of alienation, as teenagers hormonally embrace friendship and togetherness, and seek a sense of belonging. In these years anything seems possible, and nothing is unthinkable. In this contribution to Harvard Design Magazine, we speculate about the relation between this adolescent attitude and some other ways of embracing the architecture practice—beyond the traditional studio hierarchies—where the notions of labour and friendship are intertwined, and play an important role in the way we live and work together nowadays.
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