A History of Prison Escape by a Schizophrenic

HONOURABLE MENTION of Re-Draw.05: Nakagin Capsule Tower


Re-Draw.05: Nakagin Capsule Tower

A History of Prison Escape by a Schizophrenic


Name: Yanli Dong

Nationality: Chinese

Institution / Company: John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, landscape and Design, University of Toronto, Canada

The drawing is built upon my critique of the Nakagin Capsule Tower. Using elements from the tower, I constructed a machine-like prison comprised of interconnected individual units. This artwork narrates a person’s escape from imprisonment within the tower. This individual, adopting various personas like a schizophrenic, exists both obediently within the capsule’s confines and as an awakened soul, breaking free from its walls. On one hand, the tower, as an innovative urban housing, provides tenants with a place that can accommodate their basic needs in a rapidly changing society. On the other, the tower sharply defines a simplistic and monotonous lifestyle. Tenants are accommodated with cramped spaces that can barely hold a bed. The designers and investors seem to agree that exhausted urban workers only deserve a place to sleep after long workdays, and comfortable homes are deemed unnecessary. Ironically, when the schizophrenic finds it’s impossible to escape, they manage to adapt their plight. So, as we applaud the tower’s innovation, we must also reflect on its risks: it quietly guides people to adapt to urban congestion and inequality and alienates people into a conflicting entity, torn between reluctance to depart and urge to escape.

Jury Comments


A story very well illustrated regarding a topic that has always divided people: mass reproduction on the one hand offers everyone the possibility of minimum standards at low cost, on the other it eliminates diversity and creativity, in any field.


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