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Weaving a New Journey _ The Transparent Prison

Part 2 Project 2013
Eleanor Tallowin
University of Brighton, UK
The Transparent Prison challenges the current role of the institution with the prison system being used as a platform for this. The majority of prisoners spend 17 hours per day shut in their cells. The stimulation they gain from this procedure is extremely limited. This method of dealing with prisoners is outdated and unhealthy for the mental and physical state of the prisoner. The current penal system needs to be re-evaluated and
challenged by a more contemporary model, which allows for a greater level of flexibility of not only prison typology, but also the mode in which prisoners are dealt with.

It has been recognized that in order for prisoners to be less likely to re-offend they need to learn skills and training, which will enable them to gain work after their sentence is complete. The proposed program will initiate textile based work, which will provide prisoners with mentally stimulating projects, to be carried out during allocated hours of the day.

The project is based on two lines of interest, one being the programmatic focus re-evaluating the daily route of the prisoner, the other focuses on systems and exchanges of control and power. Control is manifested in clarity of views, with the use of different levels of transparency is used to manipulate visibility between the prisoner and the prison guard as well as prisoner to the outside. This interplay between the observed and the observer is established using a vertical hierarchical system with the prison guard being at the top. The prisoners can then move between the mid and bottom layers of this hierarchy depending on their behavior and level of privilege.

Eleanor Tallowin

Nick Hayhurst

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