In the nineteenth century, the English social theorist and utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham produced a futuristic design for an institutional building called a panopticon. Although applicable to other types of institution, such as hospitals, his basic idea was for a prison that would allow jailors to observe the inmates without their knowledge. Part of the idea of the panopticon was that it would be a more efficient means of managing a prison since it would require fewer staff to observe and control the prisoners. This was partly facilitated by the circular design of the building and by the mental uncertainty felt by the inmates who would never know when they were being observed.