On 25 March Flanders InShape organised the â€œTowards a 21st Century Prisonâ€ conference in collaboration with the architecture department of the Artesis School Antwerp. The audience of architects, policy makers, designers, lecturers and students was treated to a demonstration of the power of design driven innovation in the prison sector.
British architect Simon Henley (2008 UK Healthcare Architect of the Year) presented a research project that he conducted together with Hilary Cottam (2005 UK Designer of the Year) within the RED research unit of the UK Design Council. The audience quickly became convinced that an alternative way of looking at existing problems can lead to new solutions.
That’s how the idea came about that this should also be possible in Belgium. With the planned construction of seven new prisons in mind, a research programme on the matter was created within Flanders InShape. The currently running Artesis School research on new prisons provided a healthy starting point.
Flanders InShape is currently looking for additinal participating companies [disclosure: Experientia has also been contacted]. In exchange for participation, the companies obtain limited project influence by being part of the user committee. They also have a strategic advance by sitting at the forefront when new opportunities for their companies are being developed. Because we want to keep the group limited and workable, we ask you to react quickly. We have three slots open still.