Design Students Create A Vision For Better Prison Furniture
Designers from the University of Bergen designed pieces meant to help inmates relax and be more productive
Students from the University of Bergen in Norway have designed a set of furniture comprised of chairs, beds and lamps specifically for prison settings. As part of the design process, they worked to create pieces that are easy to manufacture, but also considered the daily life of an inmate by making shapes that naturally help the body to relax and de-stress.
The students collaborated with Norway’s Correctional Services and their furniture will be used in the Bergen prison. They showcased their work at the Stockholm Furniture Fair from February 7-11 as part of the culmination of the project, where they chose between furniture geared towards a jail facility or a transitional environment.
One of the students involved was Frid Smelvær Høgelid who designed the “Nami daybed” with a curved mattress which encourages easier rest and calmness.
Other students focused on creating functional items that the prisoners could build and produce themselves, but that still retained a pleasing aesthetic quality, as is the the case with Elisabeth Frafjord Solberg’s “Light-Up” standing lamp.
Those who chose to design pieces for life after prison thought about putting elements of comfort and protection with large backrests and wide seating areas that allow for the person seating to absorb their surroundings, while still feeling a sense of control.
The designers instilled the notion of rehabilitation into their furniture design. Even the chairs meant for halfway houses or correctional facilities take into consideration that re-entering society after a long stint in prison is a difficult process that can generate high levels of anxiety and pose a means to decompress.