There has been so much activity in the news lately around changes happening in our criminal justice system and restorative justice. So much so that I really feel we are on the brink of change. Perhaps I am naive and overly optimistic but its seems to work for me. I just did an interview with Archdaily that I hope you will check out as I think it conveys my enthusiasm for the positive shifts that we can make.
Later this month I will head up to the Academy of Archtecture for Justice Conference to learn more about the industry behind the building of our justice architecture. Soros Justice Fellow Raphael Sperry and I will be giving an informal talk at Portland State University and I will go to his discussion at the conference around ADPSR’s campaign to revise the AIA code of ethics on the role that architects play in designing spaces for killing and torture. There is a great article in SF Weekly, Punishment by Design,that hi-lite some of these efforts. As we make the move from the punitive to restorative I would also check out the article on BBC News Magazine titled How do people forgive a crime like murder? It’s easy to see how we can use restorative practices for the lesser crimes but not always so clear for many on how it works in the case of more severe ones.
I am still hoping despite the challenges that this questions poses that we are moving towards a new paradigm for justice and that the infrastructure we create will reflect a different set of values. While it will take a while I do think we are headed in the right direction. As a designer I would like to keep raising awareness on the impact of creating environments that nourish as opposed to those that punish.