Sean Anderson: My name is Sean Anderson, and I am an Associate Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design. I curated the exhibition Insecurities: Tracing Displacement and Shelter.
We have all seen images of people at the edges of continents and countries trying desperately to seek access to shelter and to comfort. Recent UN estimates suggest that over 65 million individuals are refugees or internally displaced persons. So this exhibition attempts to ask: what is shelter in the face of transit, in the moment of displacement, and how displacement begins to affect what and how we design?
The exhibition is organized across three broad themes. The first section concerns borders. The border represents not only the physicality of a line in geography or in space, but how that line, when politicized, begins to break apart, divide and create an urgent need for the building of shelter. The second major theme is shelter itself. What we're looking at is a broad range of both built and unbuilt works. The third section concerns how, with the repetition of shelters, a refugee camp fundamentally becomes a city.
The exhibition does not propose solutions, but, rather, asks questions about global conditions of displacement. And how the world is responding—or not, in some cases—to the refugee crisis.