Designing for Imprisonment: Architectural Ethics and Prison Design

Moran, Dominique; Jewkes, Yvonne and Lorne, Colin (2019). Designing for Imprisonment: Architectural Ethics and Prison Design. Architecture Philosophy, 4(1) pp. 67–81.



Architectural ethics has only begun to consider in earnest what it means, in a moral sense, to be an architect.1 The academy, however, has yet to adequately to explore the ethical problems raised,2 to evaluate the types of moral issues that arise, and to develop moral principles or moral reasons that should guide decisions when encountering these moral issues inherent in certain project types. This is the case despite the practice of architecture entailing “behaviours, our choices of which may be illuminated by ethical analysis.”3 Although distinguishing practice from product allows ethical critique of the practice involved in designing buildings, and recognises the significance of the architect’s moral agency, there remains very little empirically-based understanding of how the architect, once identified as a moral agent, operates as such, and still less about the circumstances in which ‘professional’ conduct may be at odds with ‘ethical’ behaviour.

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