Publication

  • Paths to Prison: Histories on the Architecture of Carcerality
    Isabelle Kirkham-Lewitt
    Editor
    Columbia Books on Architecture and the City, 2019
  • GRANTEE
    Columbia University-Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation
    GRANT YEAR
    2018

5601 Werner Street, Houston, TX 77076. Formerly known as the Olympic Lodge, the motel was retrofitted in the 1980s to become CoreCivic's first immigrant detention center.

Architecture's relationship to the carceral state has often been explained typologically (Foucault's account of the modern prison) and politically (as a statement of ethical rejection). While no less crucial, both fail to implicate architecture in the more long-standing and pervasive histories of incarceration in the United States. As Angela Davis has proposed, the “path to prison,” which so disproportionately affects communities of color, is most acutely guided by the conditions of daily life. Architecture then, as it shapes these conditions of “civil” existence, must be interrogated for its involvement along this diffuse path. What is the architecture of this “pipeline to prison?” And what histories and narratives does it draw into its orbit? Paths to Prison: Histories on the Architecture of Carcerality is concerned not only with the architectural origins of today's carceral state, but how we might locate its racial formula in other spaces.

Amale Andraos is the dean of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation; and cofounder of WORKac, a thirty-five-person architectural firm based in New York that focuses on architectural projects that reinvent the relationship between urban and natural environments. Andraos has taught at numerous universities including the Princeton University’s School of Architecture, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the University of Pennsylvania Design School, and the American University in Beirut. Her publications include the recent WORKac: We’ll Get There When We Cross That Bridge (Monacelli Press, 2017); 49 Cities (Inventory Press, 2016); Above the Pavement, the Farm! (Princeton Architectural Press, 2010); and The Arab City: Architecture and Representation (Columbia Books on Architecture and the City, 2016).

James Graham is an architect, historian, and editor. He is the director of Columbia Books on Architecture and the City, founding editor of the Avery Review, and an adjunct assistant professor at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Recent edited volumes include And Now: Architecture Against a Developer Presidency (Columbia Books on Architecture and the City, 2017), Climates: Architecture and the Planetary Imaginary (2016), and 2000+: The Urgencies of Architectural Theory (2015). He is currently completing his dissertation, which was awarded the Graham Foundation's Carter Manny Award in 2017.

Isabelle Kirkham-Lewitt is a designer, writer, and editor. She is the assistant director of Columbia Books on Architecture and the City, and the managing editor of the Avery Review. Recent edited volumes include A House Is Not Just a House: Projects on Housing (2018) and And Now: Architecture Against a Developer Presidency (2017). She is also a contributing editor to ARPA Journal and cofounder and coeditor of : (Colon), a collective workshop on architectural practice.

Columbia University is one of the world's most important centers of research and at the same time a distinctive and distinguished learning environment for undergraduates and graduate students in many scholarly and professional fields. The University recognizes the importance of its location in New York City and seeks to link its research and teaching to the vast resources of a great metropolis. It seeks to attract a diverse and international faculty and student body, to support research and teaching on global issues, and to create academic relationships with many countries and regions. It expects all areas of the university to advance knowledge and learning at the highest level and to convey the products of its efforts to the world. Founded 1754.