44: Seventeen F/W 2017


It’s 2017. The millennium is in its teenage years—and it shows.

The world is acting out—making rash, impulsive decisions whose repercussions may be irreparable. The body politic is moody, volatile, and uncompromising. We were born into Y2K and 9/11; our youth is part of a string of crises and rapid evolutions. Can the physical landscape weather our collective turmoil? Adolescence may be “just a phase,” but architecture, infrastructure, and policy are hard to undo.

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.

Though stereotyped as indignant or apathetic, teenagers are also wildly optimistic, passionate, creative, and resourceful. But teenagehood is not just a physical and emotional transition; it is also a spatial one. Bursting out of their childhood homes, teens crave autonomy—so they roam 
the streets, escape to virtual worlds, or hide out in bedrooms; they claim vacant lots, parks, and garages as turf; and they cruise, chill, or hang—euphemisms for
the “whatever” that may or may not occur in these marginal spaces. For a discipline that defines space according to program and purpose, the nebulous teen hangout 
is easily overlooked; but openness, placelessness, and aimlessness offer a realm for fantasy, common ground, and action—especially in times of challenged freedoms.

Like all teenagers, we are asking: who are we, where do we fit in, and how can we, too, make our marks—as impactful designers and as an evolving discipline? In a divided, temperamental 2017, there is much to learn from the teenager.

Table of Contents

Editors' Letter

Rights and Rites

Jennifer Sigler


Bubbles, Fabric, and the Common People

Eva Díaz

Designing Decency

Mohsen Mostafavi


Sana Krasikov

Locker Room

Jennifer Doyle

Millennials Think Pink

Carolyn L. Kane

The Fountain Today

Tom de Paor

Weird Scenes Inside the Goldmine

Sam Jacob


“Young Girls” and Their Real Worlds

feminist architecture collaborative

An Appeal to Protest

Charles L. Davis II

Athens: Arrested Development

Alexis Kalagas, Alfredo Brillembourg, Hubert Klumpner

Displaced Persons

Susan Rubin Suleiman

Fluids and Fluidity

Lori Brown

Forever a Youth Culture? Skateboarding, Design, and the Built Environment

Ocean Howell

In Memory of the Millennium: British Architecture and Planning, 17 Years On

Owen Hatherley

Performative Rebellions

Bryony Roberts

Question Guys

David Huber

Reframing Education and the Architecture of Added Value

Adam Wood, Emma Dyer

Smells Like Teen Spirit

Ethel Baraona Pohl

Structural Injustice: A (Teenage) Primer

Beryl Satter

The Kids Aren’t Alright

Phineas Harper


Creating a Different World

Alex Israel, Hamza Walker

Don’t Label Me

Ari Versluis, Ellie Uyttenbroek, Lou Stoppard

The Not-Me Creation

Danielle Choi, Jorge Otero-Pailos


Born Goth

Luis Ortega Govela, Olivia Erlanger

Chatting with the Natives

Michelle McSweeney

Chill Not

Robin James

Codes of Conduct: Mall Rats and Bunnies and the Shopping Agenda

Susan Nigra Snyder

Continuous Exit

AbdouMaliq Simone

Let Me Teach Ya

Erec Gellautz

Park Powers


Playing Beirut

Public Works Studio

Pockets of Active Boredom

Tali Hatuka

Seventeen Years a Refugee

Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi

Shooting the Enemy

Harry Allen

Sixteen plus One

Gareth Doherty, Moises Lino e Silva

Smoke and Mirrors

Elias Redstone

Tehran’s Young Preservationists

Pamela Karimi


Pages from a Teenage Journal

Lydia Davis


Drawing Lessons at a Juvenile Prison

Victoria Lomasko


Jimenez Lai

Finding Self-Consciousness

Sarah Williams Goldhagen

Linger, Stay, Saunter, Delay

Interboro Partners


Editor in Chief
Jennifer Sigler

Deputy Editor
Leah Whitman-Salkin

Production Manager
Meghan Ryan Sandberg

Creative Direction & Design
Jiminie Ha & Fahad Al–Hunaif
With Projects, Inc.

Copy Editor
Frances Malcolm

Rebecca McNamara

Gina Ciancone, Maia Peck

AS Printon Trükikoda, Tallinn, Estonia