Team: Barb Toews PhD, Deanna Van Buren
The Designing Justice+Designing Spaces (DJ+DS) project and the DJ+DS toolkit were inspired by questions related to whether and how the architecture and design of justice spaces, such as courthouses and correctional facilities, perpetuated the punitive orientation of the current justice system. What would justice buildings look like if accountability, healing, and transformation were the goal?
The DJ+DS project brings together a designer and a restorative justice practitioner/educator to explore this question. Project activities invite incarcerated individuals and other justice stakeholders to engage in reading and discussions, environmental analyses, experiential activities, and mini-design labs, where they explore the intersection of design and restorative justice.
The toolkit provides all necessary resources for architects, governments, non-profits, communities to work collaboratively with incarcerated men and women along with staff in workshops that can last from 2 hours to several months. The impact on participants has been dramatic as the tools and language for making change in their lives and the spaces they live help to heal wounds and create a new vision for social change.