^ The cell room in each 4 Phases of Agema’s prison model. Images by Jonas Staal.
‘Closed Architecture’ is the 2004 Master’s degree thesis in Interior Design of right-wing Dutch politician Fleur Agema. Based on her sketches, concepts and descriptions, visual artist Jonas Staal 3D-rendered her visions for a phased prison model in the Netherlands.
Agema’s space for reintegration of prisoners into society aimed to toughen current forms of detention to an extreme. Her model consisted of four disciplinary phases: The Bunker – The Wait – The Habituation – The Light. The inmate would upgrade depending on his behaviour, thus obtaining more daylight, space and typically consumerist commodities in his living area. As penalty for misbehaviour within her prison model, the inmate would revisit previous stages, backwards towards a ‘dungeon’ condition.
Through his Foucauldian visualizations, Staal brilliantly unmasks the ideal of citizens and society behind Agema’s political agenda in real life. He manages to show how an early architectural mind evolves into a populist understanding and construction of guilt and punishment.
^ The buildings in each 4 Phases of Agema’s prison model. Images by Jonas Staal