Conditions of scarcity demand new ways of thinking, an expansion of the role of the architect and designer outwards in order to function more broadly and imaginatively as spatial agents. In contrast to the regimes of austerity ... the territory of processes and networks opened up by scarcity is far more conducive to creative intervention. It is here that scarcity — which can seem at first a bleak prospect — can become the inspiration and context for constructive and transformative action. — Places Journal
What is the difference between scarcity and austerity? On Places, Jeremy Till contrasts the political ideology of austerity — imposed reductions of public services and social benefits — with the physical condition of scarcity — the measureable dwindling of finite resources — and explores how this distinction might enable designers to grapple with big-scale challenges. A keener understanding of scarcity, he argues, "might inspire us to widen the field of practice and allow us to operate more creatively."