Women in Prison


Learning Activity – Women in Prison Critical Thinking Exercise


As we learn in this week’s readings, women are the fastest-growing prison population in the United States.  And there are a number of ways in which women’s prisons differ from men’s prisons.  View the attached video (approx. 46 mins), an episode of Hard Time from National Geographic.

SO WHAT DO YOU THINK? Individually, you will document and respond to these questions below. Be prepared to share with the class your findings.

  1. How are the conditions in women’s prison BETTER than those in men’s prisons?
  2. How are the conditions in women’s prisons WORSE than those in men’s prisons?
  3. Were you able to relate to any of the women featured in the video?  Who (description is sufficient if you didn’t catch the name) – and why?
  4. Did anything about the video surprise you?  What was it and why?


 For this you are required to choose a building from the first half of the semester (Western architecture 1650 – 1900 AD) and imagine that you are its architect/designer and that you are writing a letter to your patron/client which will accompany a plan and model of your building to outline the challenges inherent in the project and to explain in detail how your design addresses them. In particular you should focus on what architectural decisions you made during the design process and why. Here are some suggestions of topics that you might consider addressing (note that there might be others as they will vary from building): function, response to site, form, materials, constructional techniques, precedents, style and expression. Think about who the patron is, and what decisions might have already been taken (by the patron or someone else) before you received the commission. Consider to what extent your design follows precedents (or deliberately deviates from them) and the reasons why. Focus on the questions that would be of interest to a reader of the same period / culture  trying to understand why you designed it in the way that you did. This is an opportunity to think about what issues were uppermost in the mind of the original architect. Do not write in an “old-fashioned” language but in clear and expressive modern English using your own words. You may use the first person if you wish. Quotations should not be used and citations should not be needed; an appropriate bibliography, however, should be appended. 

Length of mid-term paper: 1200 words.  

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