Tuesday, 21 February 2012


'The Panopticon is a type of institutional building designed by English philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Bentham in the late eighteenth century. The concept of the design is to allow an observer to observe (-opticon) all (pan-) inmates of an institution without them being able to tell whether or not they are being watched.'

Obviously i'm not mad keen on the idea of prison as a whole but this particular type just seems cruel and unusual. From an architectural and conceptual view it's pretty interesting. But from a human point of view it's brutally efficient, paranoia-inducing and horribly Orwellian. Thankfully it seems the idea hasn't really caught on and with the advent of CCTV it's easier to keep tabs on inmates in less creepy ways. Wikipedia has a list of prisons which are said to be 'influenced' by Bentham's original concept but the closest to it in actuality is the Presidio Modelo in Cuba which is now abandoned...

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