The System*

March 2016
It’s not the latest Hollywood production, the ultimate sound experience, or Apple’s next level consumer lock-in product line. And despite its ominous ring, it isn’t the enemy either, like the NSA appears to be. THE SYSTEM* indicates the complex interaction of the economy, professional practice and personal choice.

The asterisk draws attention to the ambiguity of such a term, while hinting at an intention to change ‘it’, whatever it is. What the system does, on the other hand, is perhaps more easily understood: it organizes things. The system is a set of institutions and infrastructures that shape the contours of resource flows and modulate the rhythms of material cycles. The system doesn’t just distribute and determine availability though; it frames the imagination and conditions creative activity there within. In this issue of Volume, we’re dilating our pupils to focus on ‘the system’ itself, treating it as a result of, and therefore question of, design. As we are unfortunately well aware, lobbying is not enough to change the system. Applying strategies like leveraging, short-circuiting, disrupting and infecting might be more effective.


Lionel Devlieger, Debbie Chen, Neeraj Bhatia / The Open Workshop, Yaohua Wang, Godofredo Enes Pereira, Design Earth, Sasha Engelmann, Jan Jongert, Alan M. Berger and MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism, Clare Lyster, Nick Axel, Francesco Marullo, The Petropolis of Tomorrow, Bruno De Meulder and Kelly Shannon, Rob Holmes, Guy James, Jesse LeCavalier, Amador Fernández-Savater, Ghazal Jafari, Tom Fox, Thomas Rau, Patrik Schumacher, Ross Exo Adams, Edwin Gardner and Christiaan Fruneaux, Robert Gerard Pietrusko, and Keller Easterling


Volume #47: THE SYSTEM*
Editor-in-chief: Arjen Oosterman
Designed by Irma Boom and Julia Neller
144 Pages
Soft-cover Binding

ISSN 1574-9401
ISBN 9789077966471


Arjen Oosterman
Editorial: How Much Does Your System Weigh?
Lionel Devlieger interview
Mining Value
Debbie Chen
Resist, Release, Retire, Repeat
Neeraj Bhatia / The Open Workshop
Expanding Dredge Geologics
Yaohua Wang
Latent City
Godofredo Enes Pereira
The Project of a Collective Line
Design Earth
Neck of the Moon
Sasha Engelmann
Cosmic Circuitry
Jan Jongert interview
Cycles of Creativity
Alan M. Berger et al. and MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism
Metabolic Wastebelts for Suburbia
Clare Lyster
Logistical Hijack
Nick Axel
Global Security Pipeline
Francesco Marullo
Acceleration and Rationalization
The Petropolis of Tomorrow
Rewiring Territories
Bruno De Meulder and Kelly Shannon
Polysynthetic Reclamation
Rob Holmes
Unknown Unknowns
Guy James
Open Supply Blockchains
Jesse LeCavalier
Deposition Effects
Amador Fernández-Savater
Revolution as a Technical Question
Ghazal Jafari
Geographies of Uncertainty
Tom Fox
Two Liquids
Thomas Rau interview
Back to the Source
Patrik Schumacher
Coup de Grâce
Ross Exo Adams
Infinite Circulation
Edwin Gardner and Christiaan Fruneaux
Robert Gerard Pietrusko
Sample and Hold
Keller Easterling
Protocols of Interplay