Designing Out Crime

There is a growing body of exploratory research and accompanying design and development programs that have led to a positive view on design interventions against crime.

Within the field of Designing Out Crime there are three ‘classic’ approaches to these issues:

(1) social prevention

• improving people

(2) situational crime prevention (SCP),

• increase the effort of crime

• increase the risks

• reduce the rewards

• reduce provocations

• remove excuses

(3) crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED),

• Territorial reinforcement

• Surveillance

• Access control

• Activity support and image management

The Designing Out Crime Research Centre doesn’t hold any of these approaches to be better than the other – indeed, it is built on the premise that these three approaches need to be combined. The Designing Out Crime Resarch Centre is in a unique position at UTS within a Faculty that encompasses a broad range of design disciplines (product design, interior design, visual communication and fashion) as well as architecture and urban planning, feeds into the use of multiple approaches a ‘patchwork’ methodology.

The Designing Out Crime Research Centre takes a more pragmatic approach by specifically focusing on things that go wrong in society, resulting in crimes and misdemeanors. We take these unfortunate occurrences to be the symptoms of deeper issues in society. We hold that while design can’t always be the direct answer to the hard reality of crime, and design can’t directly alter human nature, it can reduce the incidence of many crimes through addressing the underlying causes, as well as the behaviours, that lead to crime occurring.”

Professor Kees Dorst – Director, DOCRC