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Citation:Laidlaw, R. (2016). Breaking through. Explanatory Document. An unpublished research project submitted in partial fulfillment for Master of Architecture (Professional). Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/3496
Prisons have always been a sensitive subject, particularly in terms of legislation and prison design. There has always been a struggle over what should be done with those who commit crime, punishment or rehabilitation. This issue has never been a more pertinent topic in New Zealand than now with our current prison population at an all-time high and projected to rise even further, new strategies and proposals are required. Empathy, a notion usually only referred to in architecture as functionalism or pragmatism, where the needs and wants of the eventual users of the space are considered, provides a solution. This project takes empathy’s definition in terms of architecture further. It looks at the theories of Roman Krznaric and Simon Baron-Cohen of what empathy is, how it is developed, and how it could explain why some people commit crime. An investigation into how architecture can instil, or at the very least facilitate, the development of empathy in individuals and society as a whole. A new facility is presented, designed to encourage this development and also change society’s views of what constitutes a prison. Project site: Located just south of the Henderson town centre and surrounded by View Road, Railside Avenue and the Oratia Stream.