A More Interesting Way
Will Alsop (aLL Design)


Will Alsop

©Monica Pidgeon

I'm Will Alsop, and I'm an architect. For the last two months, I've been working in prison, and I've been visiting a particular group of prisoners, long-term prisoners, at Gartree in Leicestershire, and working with them towards making perhaps a better prison. And I think this exemplifies something that I'm particularly interested in, because I think that we're living at a time (I'm now talking as an architect) where there's no predominant style, or set of manners, or particular way of making architecture, and I think that's a marvellous, a marvellous time. That's a diversity; it's something that ultimately that will enrich our towns and cities, and I think ultimately that's what people want. They don't want it all the same; they don't want to be subjected to a particular theory. I've discovered that I like working with people, because if there is no predominant style or way of making architecture, where does the architecture come from? And it comes from a different place, a different conversation perhaps. I think it's terribly important to work with people that might be using it or, in this particular case, subjected to it involuntarily of course. And I found there that on my first visit I was a new pair of ears, so they just grumbled about the existing regime and then...


Diagram Layout For New Prisons

©Will Alsop

...on the next visit they began to be a little bit more creative about what they could do. I had to remember that these are highly institutionalised people; they've all been there for a long time, and they expect some will, some will die there. They do regard the prisoner as their home - it is their home, they've got nowhere else to go.

Thanks for previewing this talk

If you would like to view the whole talk please follow one of the following links


Or if you already have an account: