Architect calls for boycott on prison design

SF Chron story about an architect calling for a boycott on designing prisons

So the 31-year-old San Francisco architect changed course — and issued a call to action to the drafting crowd that has made national waves. Sperry wants architects — and their brethren engineers, designers and planners — to refuse to design prisons.

He realizes that a boycott is a drastic measure for a profession whose forays into collective activism have been few. Its radicalism tends to be confined to ‘green’ solutions for buildings, such as the Healdsburg winery that Sperry worked on that was constructed out of straw bales.

With earnest sincerity, Sperry sees his boycott as a way to start a conversation about prison reform with an audience largely unfamiliar with the issue.

“Prisons are so often associated with their buildings, so I thought this would be a way for architects to connect the issue with their work, with something they could do about it,” said Sperry.


About Steve