Send us your drawings of degrading places

by Raphael Sperry, Send us your drawings of degrading places, Abolition Now!
Billy Sell, an outstanding artist imprisoned in the Corcoran SHU, drew this picture of his cell before he died in last year’s hunger strike. – Photo courtesy

As part of the campaign by the Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR) to ban the design of spaces intended to violate human rights, we thought that we should help to educate design professionals and the public about what those spaces are like. Accordingly, ADPSR will be holding an exhibition at the UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design this October-November on the design of execution chambers and spaces of solitary confinement. It will have an online presence and may travel to other venues as we develop the project, so stayed tuned.

But first, to succeed, we need drawings! These could be measured drawings of a cell, hallway, pod, rec yard or other part of a prison, or more lifelike drawings of interior spaces, or any other format. We would appreciate a short description – no more than 200 words – of the space and your experience being forced to live in it.

Who may participate: People who are currently being held in solitary confinement or have been in the past are especially encouraged to submit their work.

Please include a statement permitting ADPSR to reproduce and publish your work. If you do not wish your name to be used, let us know if you would like it included anonymously or under a pseudonym.

Send artwork and any questions to ADPSR, P.O. Box 9126, Berkeley, CA 94709, 510-845-1000.

Work will be accepted until May 30, 2014. Late submissions may be included on the website.

Raphael Sperry is an architect, green building consultant, teacher and outspoken advocate on the role of architecture in social justice issues. He founded and directs the “Alternatives to Incarceration: Prison Design Boycott Campaign” of the non-profit Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR).