Designing Justice + Designing Spaces

Deanna Van Buren is an award-winning architect and activist recognized internationally for her leadership in using architecture, design, and real estate innovations to address the social inequities behind the mass incarceration crisis.

Van Buren is co-founder of Designing Justice + Designing Spaces, an architecture and design firm with the mission of dismantling the punitive infrastructure of the prison system by designing and building new spaces informed by restorative justice: peacemaking centers, mobile re-entry housing, holistic behavioral health hubs, spaces for youth, spaces for diversion/re-entry, and more.

Her work has been recognized by the American Institute of Architects San Francisco, as well as Architectural Record’s Women in Architecture Awards honoring pioneering professionals.

Van Buren was a 2016 Echoing Green Fellowship recipient, 2018 recipient of the Berkeley-Rupp Prize and Professorship, and is an alumna of the Loeb Fellowship at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. She is also the only architect to have been awarded the Rauschenberg Artist as Activist Fellowship.

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A graphic with text listing the spaces created by Designing Justice with A4J support over a photograph of Deanna Van Buren, a Black woman in a red top and warm smile, sitting on a bed in one of the Designing Justice designed spaces.
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A graphic showing a photograph of a building with a bright mural painted on its sides and text saying
A graphic showing an interior space with two people at a desk and seating area and text saying
A graphic showing a diagram of a building plan with its different restorative-justice facilities labelled and text saying
A graphic showing an aerial photograph of a city block with rows of bright tents along the street and text saying
A graphic with four thumbnail photographs showing the Designing Justice team at work with the words THANK YOU and the Designing Justice + Designing Spaces logo in the corner.