Collaborating with architecture students, former inmates, and prison experts, Gehry and his colleagues grapple with complex social, political, emotional, structural, and aesthetic challenges to re-envision the future of incarceration.
Cathedrals of Culture: Halden Prison
Halden Prison in Norway, designed by the Danish architectural firm EMA, has been labelled “the world’s most humane prison” by Time Magazine. Since its opening in 2010, the high security facility houses some of Norway’s most dangerous convicts. But can barless windows, with panoramic views of Norwegian nature, truly help hardened criminals? Can a prison ever really be humane?
DIRECTOR, GUYMER BAILEY
“My passion is harnessing the transformative effects of architecture to help people live better lives. Through the creative and sustainable use of building form and materials and the rehabilitative effects of daylight, I believe architecture can significantly change the quality of life for those inhabiting its space. It is this ‘architecture of hope’ that I seek to provide each day by delivering well-planned, operationally effective and delight-filled master planning and building solutions.”
PROFESSOR, CA, RMIT UNIVERSITY
Prof. Elizabeth Grant, CF (School of Architecture and Urban Design, RMIT University) is an international expert on the design of Indigenous custodial environments. The application of her evidence-based research has led to greater understandings of the needs of Indigenous prisoners, and she has published extensively on the topic of prison environments and issues such as overcrowding, temperature control, ligature points, conditions for women and children, human rights and other factors affecting the prison experience. Honoured with the International Prison and Correctional Association (ICPA) Excellence in Research Award for her work in this area, she has contributed to numerous national and international government and judicial inquiries and Royal Commissions and is a current member of the Expert Panel of Aotearoa New Zealand’s Hāpaitia te Oranga Tangata Criminal Justice Reform Program.
FORMER DEPUTY COMMISSIONER,
Rod Wise has had an extensive career in corrections, having worked operationally and as a senior manager in the Victorian prison service and in Community Corrections. For the past 15 years, Rod has provided executive leadership of Victoria’s correctional system and provided authoritative advice across the department and to government on sound correctional practice. In his previous role as Deputy Commissioner, Operations, he was responsible for the policy and standards governing the operations of 13 prisons, a transitional centre, and state-wide Community Correctional Services. Rod was the inaugural Chair of the Countering Violent Extremism Prisons Working Group which was responsible for developing initiatives to tackle radicalisation within Australia’s criminal justice system. Under Rod’s leadership, the group progressed important and sensitive work to address radicalisation in prisons and assist individuals convicted of terrorism offences to disengage from violent extremist ideologies. Of particular note, is the development of a comprehensive indicators of radicalisation training package, which has been implemented across Australia to assist corrections officers’ understanding of radicalisation and violent extremism, and improve their ability to identify and support prisoners who may be at risk of such behaviour.
Abby Wild is a Research Fellow at BehaviourWorks Australia, in the Monash Sustainable Development Institute. Her doctoral research at the Institute of Criminology at Cambridge University focused on therapeutic programs in prisons in the United States, exploring how elements of architecture and design influence social relations and well-being in prison. Her recent work considers how to create restorative spaces in prison, by bringing together the accounts of prisoners and insights from design architects, landscape architects and user-experience designers in the US, UK and Australia. She is also collaborating on a project about nature-based interventions in prisons, and their impact on the well-being of staff and prisoners.