The Panopticon is a type of institutional building and a system archispeak pdf free download control designed by the English philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Bentham in the late 18th century. Although it is physically impossible for the single watchman to observe all the inmates’ cells at once, the fact that the inmates cannot know when they are being watched means that they are incentivized to act as though they are being watched at all times. This scheme effectively compels the inmates to constantly control their own behavior.
The design consists of a circular structure with an “inspection house” at its centre, from which the manager or staff of the institution is able to watch the inmates. The inmates, who are stationed around the perimeter of the structure, are unable to see through their cells. Bentham conceived the basic plan as being equally applicable to hospitals, schools, sanatoriums, and asylums, but he devoted most of his efforts to developing a design for a Panopticon prison.
It is his prison that is now most widely meant by the term “panopticon”. Bentham described the Panopticon as “a new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example”. Elsewhere, in a letter, he described the Panopticon prison as “a mill for grinding rogues honest”. Morals reformed—health preserved—industry invigorated—instruction diffused—public burthens lightened—Economy seated, as it were, upon a rock—the Gordian Knot of the poor-law not cut, but untied—all by a simple idea in Architecture!
Samuel, who was engaged in managing various industrial and other projects for Prince Potemkin. Jeremy began to develop this model, particularly as applicable to prisons, and outlined his ideas in a series of letters sent home to his father in England. Allow me to construct a prison on this model,” Bentham requested to a Committee for the Reform of Criminal Law, “I will be the gaoler. You will see that the gaoler will have no salary—will cost nothing to the nation.
As the watchmen cannot be seen, they need not be on duty at all times, effectively leaving the watching to the watched. According to Bentham’s design, the prisoners would also be used as menial labour, walking on wheels to spin looms or run a water wheel. This would decrease the cost of the prison and give a possible source of income. On his return to England from Russia, Bentham continued to work on the idea of a Panopticon prison, and commissioned drawings from an architect, Willey Reveley.