Confessional Prototype for Eastern State Penitentiary


As part of a prototyping internship with Eastern State Penitentiary in November of 2015, I was invited to interpret and build a temporary version of a “confessional”. Visitors are invited to anonymously submit a confession of a crime, any crime, to help to break down the mental barrier between criminals and non criminals, and confuse the notion that anyone who serves┬áprison time is getting a just punishment for their act.

The confessional was constructed from cardboard, butcher paper, and black tape. Many confessional sheets are in a stand inside the booth, next to a locked box where completed confessions can be submitted. Sample confessions with crimes ranging from “I jaywalk on the regular” to “I drove drunk, hit a parked car and fled the scene” adorning the outer wings. It was placed in the Recharge room of Eastern State Penitentiary, a heated resting space with benches and a phone charging station that serves as a shelter from the elements.



The confessional in place in the recharge room.


A slightly closer view


An obligatory selfie with my work. Happy confessions!