designing more humane prisons

Designing More Humane Prisons

This post looks at how Norway is  designing more humane prisons in Norway where the architecture isn’t part of the punishment.

Most prisons around the world are consolidated into one single building. This style makes it easy and efficient for inmates to move around, but the design is monotonous and full of visually unappealing materials, like steel and concrete. Plus, tight quarters inside these spaces can foster conflict.

Halden Prison in Norway has a different structure: a campus design, where inmates move from one building to another, and are surrounded by lots of windows and construction materials that help muffle noise and take advantage of natural light. The prison’s layout also encourages guards to interact with inmates face-to-face, which fosters better relationships and reduces security-related incidents.

Halden’s design style is expensive — which is why we mostly see it implemented in places with good social support systems, like Western Europe and Scandinavia. Still, the design is setting new standards for what prisons could be like in the future.

Note: By Design is a new Vox video series about the intersection of design and technology, hosted by Christophe Haubursin.

See more of Nikolas’ related posts:

Welcome to the Prison of the Future

“Hey Siri” and Algorithmic Crime

Predictive Policing is Here


Nikolas Badminton is the CEO of EXPONENTIAL MINDS and an award-winning Futurist Keynote Speaker, researcher and author. His expertise and thought leadership will guide you from complacency to thinking exponentially, planning for longevity, and encouraging a culture of innovation. You will then establish resiliency and abundance in your organization. Please reach out to discuss how he can help you, and read on to see what is happening in the world this week.

Please SUBSCRIBE to Nikolas’ Youtube channel so that you don’t miss any as they come up. You can see more of his thoughts on Linkedin and Twitter.

designing more humane prisons

Designing More Humane Prisons

This post looks at how Norway is  designing more humane prisons in Norway where the architecture isn’t part of the punishment.

Most prisons around the world are consolidated into one single building. This style makes it easy and efficient for inmates to move around, but the design is monotonous and full of visually unappealing materials, like steel and concrete. Plus, tight quarters inside these spaces can foster conflict.

Halden Prison in Norway has a different structure: a campus design, where inmates move from one building to another, and are surrounded by lots of windows and construction materials that help muffle noise and take advantage of natural light. The prison’s layout also encourages guards to interact with inmates face-to-face, which fosters better relationships and reduces security-related incidents.

Halden’s design style is expensive — which is why we mostly see it implemented in places with good social support systems, like Western Europe and Scandinavia. Still, the design is setting new standards for what prisons could be like in the future.

Note: By Design is a new Vox video series about the intersection of design and technology, hosted by Christophe Haubursin.

See more of Nikolas’ related posts:

Welcome to the Prison of the Future

“Hey Siri” and Algorithmic Crime

Predictive Policing is Here


Nikolas Badminton is the CEO of EXPONENTIAL MINDS and an award-winning Futurist Keynote Speaker, researcher and author. His expertise and thought leadership will guide you from complacency to thinking exponentially, planning for longevity, and encouraging a culture of innovation. You will then establish resiliency and abundance in your organization. Please reach out to discuss how he can help you, and read on to see what is happening in the world this week.

Please SUBSCRIBE to Nikolas’ Youtube channel so that you don’t miss any as they come up. You can see more of his thoughts on Linkedin and Twitter.