the world’s prisons are home to an estimated 10 million people globally and this number is rising. The world’s prison population has gone up 10% since 2004, and in some countries, such as Indonesia, the increase has been as high as 183% [...]
Architecture sends a silent message to everyone walking into any place. It tells you what to expect and where the limits of behaviour are. Prisons are the same. — the Guardian
Though many scholars focusing on penitentiaries suspect that staff-prisoner relations are molded by institutional architecture, little empirical work has been completed on the topic. Now, a new study led by Beijersbergen and published in Crime & Delinquency has concluded that building styles, floor plans, and other design features do indeed have a significant impact on the way Dutch prisoners perceive their relationships with prison staff. — psmag.com
"ADPSP is asking the AIA to change their Code of Ethics to prohibit the design of spaces intended for executions and prolonged solitary confinement, as in 'supermax' prisons. This comes from the AIA's current code, which calls on members to 'uphold human rights in all their professional endeavors'—but includes no enforceable rules to provide discipline" - Raphael Sperry — Metropolis Magazine
The new Court of Justice building in Hasselt, Belgium designed by a team comprising, Berlin-based J. MAYER H. Architects and local firms a2o-architecten andLensºass architecten, officially swung its doors open to the public on September 13th. Donna Sink felt "This looks SO BEAUTIFUL! I saw it from the Hasselt train station last March and it literally took my breath away - it makes a great statement on the skyline. To see the interiors and details are so well considered makes me happy".
And just as prisons in the U.S. are now designed to look not just secure and largely windowless but so nondescript that they practically disappear, architecture firms often coat their prison-design work in several layers of euphemism.
Prisons and jails become "correctional facilities." On the website of the large corporate firm HOK Architects, which designed the 1997 Twin Towers Correctional Facility in downtown L.A., they are tucked into a broader portfolio of "justice buildings." — latimes.com
A hunger strike in California state prisons calls for an end to indefinite solitary confinement in Security Housing Units, known as SHUs. Raphael Sperry has challenged fellow architects to ban the design of SHUs. Beverly Prior responds, reflecting on a career designing for incarceration. Joe Day sees societal values mirrored in the growth of both American prisons and museums. — kcrw.com
After two centuries of incremental growth, the number of correctional facilities and museums in the United States tripled, from roughly 600 prisons and 6,000 museums in 1975 to more than 1,800 prisons and 18,000 museums by 2005. — Places Journal
It might not seem like an architect’s area of expertise to reform inhumane prison conditions. But like attorneys, journalists and doctors, architects have a code of professional ethics. They’re required to “uphold human rights in all of their professional endeavors.”
Architect Raphael Sperry says that prisons designed for prolonged solitary confinement violate the human rights of the inmates, and that he and other architects are ethically bound to do something about it. — thestory.org
“Part of the research I did for that game is I went around to Alcatraz in San Francisco because I wanted to have a level where you break into a prison,” Chris Delay, one of Introversion’s co-founders said in an interview.
“I started working on how to simulate a prison and how it was going to work. It was then that it occurred to me that building a prison was quite good fun, and that it shouldn’t be, but it is.” — business.financialpost.com
The off-screen protagonist of Herman's House, Herman Wallace, already has a dwelling for his body: a 6-foot-by-8-foot cell at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, aka Angola. But the documentary's on-screen protagonist, Jackie Sumell, wants him also to have a place for his soul: a dream house for a man who desperately needs dreams. — npr.org
At one time, the dorm housed as many as 40 or 50 prisoners packed together like sardines, according to Caperton. The plan is to convert the space into two or three one-bedroom apartments, which is a considerably more comfortable arrangement than the last residents of the building had. Caperton says that in the 1980s and '90s Lorton Prison had a reputation for being dangerously overcrowded. — wamu.org
in professional practice, there’s a tendency to lose track of the initial spark that drew us to the profession and fall into a routine of designing similar projects for a familiar client type without thinking too deeply about it. It’s hard to make any money in the profession without a certain amount of repetition and standardization. So when a project comes along that challenges your values, that would be a good time to reconnect with the reasons you got into your profession in the first place. — thepolisblog.org
On any given night in the U.S., there are approximately 60,500 youth confined in juvenile correctional facilities or other residential programs. Photographer Richard Ross has spent the past five years criss-crossing the country photographing the architecture, cells, classrooms and inhabitants of these detention sites. — wired.com
499.SUMMIT is a conceptual proposal for a futuristic high-rise urban penitentiary in Jersey City which seeks to challenge the conventions of traditional prison design. The project, a collaborative effort by grad students Andreas Tjeldflaat and Gregory Knobloch, was part of the PennDesign studio FUTURE PRISON DESIGN. — bustler.net
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