Mimi Zeiger

Critic, editor, curator and instigator.

Should architects design for torture? Of course not. The answer seems so clear, so unequivocally in line with the contemporary image of the architect as a just shaper of the society, a creative world citizen serving both client and public.

When we switch the question around, however, and ask if architects should curtail their involvement in designing certain spaces associated with prisons, specifically spaces intended for execution and prolonged solitary confinement, the answer becomes murky. Client-side alliances and post-occupancy reporting complicate the architect’s societal duty. Such restriction asks architects to take an ethical and human rights stance on ongoing practices that could be considered out of their control.

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