In early 2014, Laura Ferriere and I solicited the collaboration of Netherlands' Justice in order to apply The White Building concept to the penitentiary reality. Thanks to this new partner, they got the opportunity to develop a two pilots of The White Building in the village of Veenhuizen for a period of 12 months.
Based on a research about European penitentiary system, The White Building concept is a recipe that can be adapted to several countries. But it is in Veenhuizen, Netherlands that it found its first ground of application, thanks to the open mind and thirst for innovation of the Penitentiary Institution of Veenhuizen and the After Care of Groningen.
The First pilot of this project grew into being a co-working space which focuses on the progressive re-insertion of inmates at the end of their sentence. It is a space where, thanks to a special focus on trust and equality, prisoners and creative participants elaborate and execute original ideas. There, several projects are developed under the form of residencies. A residency is a common way of working among creative professionals. This format provides a time of reflection, research and production away from the usual environment of each contributor.
To optimize creativity, collaboration and work flow, Laura Ferriere & I designed a special program. Each residency has a different topic and lasts 4 weeks of 3 days of work. Along that time, the whole team works through 4 main phases: research, concept, translation and implementation. This fast and intuitive process is finalized by an exhibition at the end of each residency.
The White Building is an innovative social project that aims at fighting the high rate of recidivism in Europe. It is a space of transition where prisoners will carry out a work experience at the end of their sentence, in collaboration with qualified participants. Find out more about our concept on thewhitebuilding.eu