chapter  3
13 Pages

A Simple Idea in Architecture: On the Principles of Projecting Prisons

The prophets of the Old Testament foretold the liberation of those held captive and freedom for prisoners. In Book VII of The Republic, Plato housed people in a cave, or in a habitation which he compared to living in a prison: ‘in this they lie from their childhood, their legs and necks in chains.’2 Descartes, in his turn, in developing his moral outlook concurs with stoic resignation in asserting that one should ‘rst and foremost change one’s desire rather than the order of the world’. Or, in other words, in practice if we are sitting in prison, as the philosopher gives us an example, should we in order to achieve peace of mind rid ourselves of the desire for freedom, which is merely the desire to possess ‘wings to utter like a bird’.3