Engaging the rich socio-political and demographic complexities of the metropolis of New York, the work started with historical and typological research and documentation of youth living in NYC and interviews and discussions with local youth housing advocates, unsheltered youths, and community stakeholders. The research resulted in five design prototypes for youth housing associated with drastically different social-economic contexts, building typologies, and implementation strategies. Youths represent a dynamic yet precarious section of today’s populations. No longer belonging to safe spaces of childhood, but not yet, if ever, integrated into the expected paradigms of traditional family structures, a large portion of today’s youth, while seemingly spontaneous in lifestyle choices and welcoming mobility, occupy the vulnerable spaces of the in-between and the prolonged interim. Acknowledging youth and their dwelling as important cross-sections to reconsider the contemporary housing paradigms and alternatives, the project explores the multitudinous spaces that youths shape and inhabit as they intersect with sustained social, political, and economic uncertainties, inequalities, and emergent lifestyles. The prototypes have been shared with local as well as international audiences in the cities with similarly urgent youth housing crises, including at the 2019 Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism “Collective City” in Seoul, Korea, and in the ongoing exhibit “A Section of Now: Social Norms and Rituals as Sites for Architectural Intervention” at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal, Canada.

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