Future Islands is comprised of two rooms. The second is darkened, and contains three islands. The largest is described by exhibition creative director Charles Walker in the Future Islands catalogue as an Island of Prospect and Refuge. At the centre of the island is 'A Mission in the City', a competition-winning project designed to provide accommodation for homeless people and single-parent families, as well as detox facilities, workshops, a library, health and recreation services, and a new public square. Surrounding this is a number of new home projects.
"For New Zealand architects, the ideal commission, the career gold standard, has been the holiday home: a retreat romantically isolated in the (almost) uninhabited landscape or, even better, on the coast, back turned to the hinterland with views to distant horizons (and future capital gain). These houses are often finely tuned to site, climate and the pursuit of familial down-time. This privileged, if occasionally melancholic, prospect perhaps also indicates a resistance to recognising the complex demographic, environmental and economic changes that have occurred in New Zealand over the past three decades. Successive New Zealand governments’ wholehearted embrace of financial deregulation as the main driver of the economy has also brought social inequality, debt, homelessness and a crisis of housing
affordability in this sparsely populated land."