Artwork © Cynthia Hammond


This project aims to understand the built environment as the primary physical context of “restorative justice” and “transitional justice”. These alternative approaches to justice value truth, accountability, reparation, reconciliation, conflict resolution and democratic participation, and are increasingly being used in postcolonial and post-­conflict contexts. Despite the rise of alternative justice paradigms, rarely are the spaces of transitional and restorative justice purpose-­designed, much less studied in terms of their design. The objective of the proposed project is therefore to produce research and creation that will provide scholarly knowledge and practical service to alternative justice efforts in the specific domain of space. We propose to create practical, open ­access answers to our core question: how might design support and encourage non­traditional justice paradigms?

Contribution to knowledge
Our project will increase the accessibility, flow, and exchange of knowledge about the spaces of restorative and transitional justice. In Phases I and II of the project, we will gather secondary research, and upload to our open ­access website/database examples of spaces in which restorative and transitional justice are being practiced. Each item will be accompanied by a short text written by team members. These will explain the example and its significance within the broader scope of restorative and transitional justice design (what precisely is the space, where is it located, what purpose does it serve in terms of restorative and/or transitional justice, and what can be learned from the example). In this way, the project will provide a resource to both the scholarly community and to an international community of practitioners of non­traditional justice models seeking to learn more about the problems and precedents in this field.
Phases III and IV of the project are also designed to mobilize the knowledge that we will produce. The five design prototypes produced in Phase III will be added to our website/database, alongside (with
permission) interview excerpts from our interviewees. These additions will greatly increase the value and dissemination of the project to the public. In Phase IV, the final co­authored, peer-reviewed essay will elicit a broad­ sector readership across the fields of justice studies, restorative and transitional justice, and justice advocacy.

This project will benefit knowledge creation/intellectual outcomes by being the first scholarly research project, to our knowledge, to make a publicly-available survey of the spaces of restorative and transitional justice practices in different countries. Because it will address purpose-­designed as well as makeshift spaces, it will be of interest to historians of the built environment, and activists alike.

Cynthia Hammond (PI), Ipek Türeli et Luis Sotelo Castro (Concordia University),
recherche subventionnée par le Conseil de Recherche en Sciences Humaines du Canada (Programme développement Savoir) 2020-2022