Tag Archives: learning

Co-designing Intensive Learning Centres for NSW Maximum Security Prison

29 May



On the 2nd April a new Intensive Learning Centre facility was opened at Mid North Coast Correctional Centre that is the result of a unique collaboration between Corrective Services NSW and the Designing Out Crime research centre at the University of Technology, Sydney. The collaborative project was to design and construct a learning centre for 40 inmates that would operate under a therapeutic model within the context of NSW maximum security prison. The brief challenged designers to create a prefabricated and furnished design model which was secure, offered a 21century learning environment, inspired integration and rehabilitation and could be fabricated by inmates in Corrective Services Industries vocational training programs. The project followed a unique process of co-design and consultation with inmates, teachers, correctional centre management staff, and senior managers in CSNSW.  This process realized a facility with the following features:

  • Architecture and materials to create an aesthetic and functionality consistent with co-operative relationships between educators and students, enabling a capacity for problem solving, creativity and social interaction required in modern work environments.
  • A flexible model of classroom design to support dynamic learning that is scalable for differing audiences and activities.
  • Integrated technology to support education delivery and dynamic learning opportunities including smart boards, laptops and audio-visual equipment.
  • Designation and design of spaces to support Aboriginal learning styles and cross cultural discussion.
  • Designed-in capacity for customisation such as interchangeable art panels that allow each cohort to build ownership and establish connection with the environment.
  • Interlinked indoor and outdoor spaces that create a unique sense of community and connectedness in the correctional environment.
  • A secure facility that embeds all the standard security features while creating a safe environment through the use of an open-plan community aesthetic.

The Designing Out Crime team is currently undertaking a post occupancy evaluation to assess the performance of the design and Tasman Munro is undertaking a PhD looking at the design’s  impact on interaction within the space.

Tasman Munro – Industrial designer                  Kevin Bradley – Architect

Rohan Lulham – Psychologist                               Douglas Tomkin – Designer

Lucy Klippin – Designer                                         Jessica Wong – Designer










A prefabricated space for 21st century learning in maximum security prisons

3 Apr


Fiona McGregor, Kevin Bradley, Tasman Munro, Lucy Klippan, Douglas Tomkin and Rohan Lulham

In August 2012 the Designing Out Crime Research Centre was provided with a brief for the establishment of two new Intensive Learning Centres in maximum security prisons in NSW. The brief provided a new frame for considering an educational centre in a maximum security prison. Rather than being described as a secure educational environment for remedial learning, it was framed as a 21st Century learning environment with core values of citizenship, creativity, critical thinking, problem solving and other key qualities consistent with obtaining employment and maintaining a life outside the justice system. To be built by NSW Corrective Service Industries (CSI) as prefabricated units and transported to the prison sites, DOC was engaged to bring together a design team to work with ILC and CSI staff to explore how the intentions for ILC could be materialized in the ILC design. In this presentation the design team will reflect and present on the genesis of the ILC program brief, its articulation into design intentions through consultation with inmates, staff and the relevant literature, and the design concepts that are currently being specified for the start of construction.