The Image of Reintegration
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Architecture plays a role in the image of the convict during his return from prison to society. The prisoner, in a critical moment of his life between prison and freedom, is viewed with distrust in a venue largely misunderstood by society. Can architecture support the image of the halfway house as a place between, where the convict is exposed to society and the world is exposed to the convict, where mutual understanding can lead to a more positive return of the convict to society? Program, form, and context will be examined through the mediums of analog (drawings, collage, physical models) and digital (drawings, models, animations) representation. A site in Washington, DC will be determined based on pragmatic issues such as visibility, geographic relationship to schools, and neighborhood density, as well as a site that reflects and characterizes the "between" condition of the convict. Programmatic development of the halfway house will involve understanding of the needs of both occupants and society in order to establish new patterns and seeking places of overlap for social interactions to occur. Lastly, formal development will engage the between space as a means of deliberating the social, political, and aesthetic meanings of the halfway house.