Today’s project featured was designed by Raymond Bourraine and Jovanna Suarez for their project ‘Fountain of Youth: Social Center’ under the guidance of Anupama Kundoo. The project is situated in an area where the youth have been essentially forgotten and displaced. The youth culture has become so introverted with technology today, where they live in the realm of the internet, facebook, and texting, that social centers for youth to pour into are becoming ever more important in planning of towns and cities.
Aurovile Youth Center
“In 1968, Mira Alfassa and Sri Aurobindo founded the township project of Auroville, an experiment in human unity. Although both Mira and Sri were closely affiliated with an ashram in Pondicherry, this was to be an entirely separate community based around collective living.
“It seems that Auroville was planned excluding youth. In Auroville, youth are not meant to exist and many residents seem to think that youth should just disappear”. (Virya, Auroville Today) This proposed community center is sited in the city’s residential belt between private residences and a youth hostel. A youth center would promote a welcoming environment that respects the views and voices of the youth in the area.
Young people are often both excluded from community discourses and seen as the problem in communities. However, they depend more than adults on their immediate neighborhood for their social life. As such places for young people to meet as well as age appropriate activities, should be an important part of community provision. Many communities provide youth center assistance through a variety of partnership programs that add to the positive impact and influences youth can gain while attending such programs.
Some examples of these partnerships might include: health services, libraries, social services, arts and sciences, or cultural organizations. An important aspect of a youth center in Auroville would be to collaborate with other activities that are occurring such as the Auroville Film Festival. Participation in community events would enhance communication between all age groups of Aurovillians and encourage a cooperative environment that seems to not exist currently.”
-Raymond Bourraine + Jovanna Suarez
All Text and Images via archive100.org