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Closer to Home

Part 2 Project 2020
Lois Innes
Central Saint Martins, UAL | UK
Prisons – and the way that we think about them – have changed little in the past 200 years. Despite overwhelming evidence that points to their ineffectiveness, our prison population in
the UK continues to soar; new prisons are designed on the static typologies of the past.
Politically and spatially disregarded, these repressive environments increasingly serve to
stimulate criminal behaviour, rather than act as its deterrent. Yet collectively, we cannot seem to imagine an alternative.

Taking London’s oldest Category-C prison, HMP Brixton, and its associated area, ‘Closer to Home’ speculates on a largely decarcerated penal model. It proposes a series of interventions to provide greater social infrastructure to disadvantaged neighbourhoods, such as the provision of youth centres, community recreational facilities and assisted housing. The focus is on integrating offenders back into their communities, as well as exploring the ways in which architecture and policy can reduce the culture of crime at the root of the problem.

The project unfolds through a series of interventions and imagined stories, using the appropriately fantastical format of the graphic novel to express new ideas, and to provoke more imaginative possibilities for the future of our criminal justice system.

Lois Innes


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