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.
It’s still one of the world’s major concerns: shelter. Last year saw a sad record in the number of people seeking shelter: fleeing violence or hopeless poverty, looking for safety, stability and perspective. This year won’t be any better. And despite its complexities, public and political discussion reduced it to the all too simple question who will be sheltered, where, and who will provide for this.