The Power of Design: Eastern State Penitentiary

If ever one questions the power of architecture and design to change society, let Eastern State Penitentiary be a grim example. This archetype provided new mechanisms to strip many a black, brown and impoverished person of their dignity, never allowing the incarcerated to be considered whole or human, destroying individuals, families and lives and laying the ground for an insidious type of homegrown terrorism. Nurtured by industry and our government with the most nefarious of practices and policies, all the while carrying with it an underlying violence and hatred – something like a father might feel for a defiant child who’s mere existence makes him sense the depths of his own self loathing. There is architecture and then there is the utility which we give it. Let us not create new methods of oppression and ways of snuffing out civility and furthering the demoralization of humanity. Let us create space to heal the wounds imbedded deep within the soul of The Nation, Our Nation – Each Other.

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