March 23, 2005

Prison Design Boycott

I thought this was pretty interesting in context with the infamous Panopticon Prison designed by Jeremy Bentham. The design of his prison is so grounded in a philosophy many people may have issues with.

Often times I associate a designer's political power to be the form of gentle steering. These are cases where the designer assumes control over an issue in the present, instead of hoping to shift opinion for the future. To stop designing prisons is a brave idea. However, I hope the movement translates to designing better prisons. There will always be somewhere their to build a prison like the ones with problems today. It would be more powerful if an organization was begging and fighting for chances to design prisons. I would imagine a new model is possible. I have enough conifidence in capable architects to imagine a space where the pattern complications of prisons and convicts are addressed. Why aren't they? If designers do have the power to influence social issues like prisons, they should be blaming themselves.

via core77


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