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Architect Urges Boycott of Prison Construction

The San Francisco Chronicle today reports on archictect Raphael Sperry's plan to boycott the design of prisons . 274 architects have signed on so far. In March, we reported on Mr. Sperry's boycott of execution chambers, referencing this interview with him.

The group is Adpsr(Architects / Designers / Planners for Social Responsibility ). Their website for the boycott is here.

Many architects, designers, and planners already refuse to do prison work as an informal policy. ADPSR hopes that by marshalling the collective voice of the design professionals who feel this way, we can raise awareness of the problems with the prison system. We also hope that other design professionals who don't yet know about prisons will learn about the issue and take our pledge. Please forward this campaign to your colleagues who might support it or consider it-it is only through the participation of each individual of conscience that this campaign can succeed.

They are currently running a poster design competition, so if you are graphically inclined, head on over here.

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  • This criminal US government has gone too far, Somebody has to begin the process of dissembling someplace. Boycotting prison construction would be a good start. Charles Boycott got what he had coming to him and so does the US government.

    Re: Architect Urges Boycott of Prison Construction (none / 0) (#2)
    by BigTex on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:41 PM EST
    Hmm. So does this mean all who support the boycott of prisons on moral grounds, will also support those who refuse to apply their services to abortion clinics? I be intellectually consistent. If someone supports boycotting services to abortion clinics, like I do, then they must support the right of others to boycott prison construction. Good luck to the botcotters. -BigTex

    Re: Architect Urges Boycott of Prison Construction (none / 0) (#3)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:41 PM EST
    I would like to see boycotts of architects who design stadiums built with taxpayer money. ParallelPaths: good point. I liked your writing better as BigTex. Figger that.

    Re: Architect Urges Boycott of Prison Construction (none / 0) (#4)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:41 PM EST
    Fair enough Tex...I have no problem with an architecht not taking a job designing an abortion clinic on moral grounds. With all have to answer to our own conscience first.

    Re: Architect Urges Boycott of Prison Construction (none / 0) (#5)
    by Che's Lounge on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:41 PM EST
    Wile, For once we agree. I miss Tex's accent also.

    Re: Architect Urges Boycott of Prison Construction (none / 0) (#6)
    by Mreddieb on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:41 PM EST
    The Bushbag admin will definately use the boycott as an excuse to out source the work to Saudi Arabia or Syria or Egypt or China. These guys really know how to set up the perfect kind of prisons bushbag & Co have in mind!

    Unfortunately, all this will do is stifle designs from more open minded and innovative designers. I totally agree with the sentiment, but come on, there are plenty of large engineering firms drooling over an opportunity to cash is on this. Either that or the various state and federal corrections departments will just use outdated, unsafe and inhumane designs.

    Re: Architect Urges Boycott of Prison Construction (none / 0) (#8)
    by BigTex on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:42 PM EST
    Wile, Che - I liked writing with the accent more, but the flames, and ad hominum responses/attacks made it more trouble than it was worth. Thanks for the support on the issue though.

    Re: Architect Urges Boycott of Prison Construction (none / 0) (#9)
    by jimcee on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:42 PM EST
    If an architect doesn't want to design prisons that's fine by me because there will be others that don't have that objection and they'll get the commission. It would seem more useful though that instead of refusing the work outright that they would come up with alternate prison designs that they felt were better for whatever reasons and see if they can sell thier ideas for the future of incarceration. The alternative to prisons in any form is no prisons and I'm afraid that there are some people that just belong in prison there always has been and there always will be.

    Re: Architect Urges Boycott of Prison Construction (none / 0) (#10)
    by DawesFred60 on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:42 PM EST
    Good idea.

    Re: Architect Urges Boycott of Prison Construction (none / 0) (#11)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:42 PM EST
    No language is more beautiful than local slang. This yankee misses the texas drawl too Tex.