Project Background: Junee Correctional Centre is a medium and minimum-security prison for males operated by GEO Group Australia. It is located about 4.5 hours drive south of Sydney. The centre has 853 inmates of whom approximately 24% of the population is indigenous. The rest of the centre being made up of a broad mix of cultures with, at times, up to 40 cultural groups. Significant cultural events are celebrated by the centre including NAIDOC week, Eide, Waitangi Day, Poly Fest, Harvest Moon, and Chinese New Year in its existing cultural centre. These events often have strong cultural ties with food. Currently, there is no amenity in the existing centre for food to be part of the celebrations and a cultural kitchen is proposed as insertion to the existing centre and to extend the amenity and realise a much richer cultural space.
The Studio Project: The project is to incorporate a ‘culture kitchen’ into the existing cultural centre to enhance the cultural amenity of the space. The studio investigates the complex relations between architectural and social space. You will research these complex relationships within this unique environment to inform your design process for Task 1 Concept design. It is envisaged that your research and concept will be presented to a group of stakeholders for their input during a visit to the centre before developing your project in the later stages of the semester.
Consideration: This type of project is unique in its setting and its stakeholder group. Some of the stakeholders are prisoners serving time, or staff and management in the correctional centre. Other stakeholders may be found outside the prison walls. This studio will ask you to consider and develop your methods of design enquiry to capture information from these groups. You may not have extensive access to some of the stakeholders, but are required to consider their needs through research and applied design methods. Similarly; cultures you are not closely familiar with need your consideration. In the initial weeks of the semester, you will need to undertake research into cultural performance and spatial amenity related to food. You will need to develop design strategies that consider culture, ritual, significance, and meaning of the built environment. You will also be asked to consider and mediate the power relationships between your role as the ‘expert designer’ and the stakeholder as the ‘situated knower’ whether it is the inmate, guard, cultural officer, or prison management representative.
You must be available to travel to Junee over three nights in the week 4-8th September. Dates to be confirmed