Thesis – Week 1 – Revisiting and Expanding

Thesis Overview

The topic explores the governance of a civilization by the people and how to develop the least corruptible form of government, and how Architecture plays a role. History and recognition that some government Architecture begins to outdate and restrict the people. How can Architecture redefine the relationship between its representation and the people it represents? This topic is vital to all our civilization as there is a built constraint of the bruilt form. Still, it lives in a world where the monetary, corporate interests, and political beliefs are ever-changing and growing.

Thesis Statement 

  • The issue I am addressing: Effective governance of a people is contingent on having proper representation that is proportionate to the population as it grows and evolves to create a more perfect union. 
  • Hypothesis for how the issue can be addressed through design, as specifically as possible; and The U.S. Capitol building needs to be increased in size in order to follow the same trend line of representation to population. The Capitol building has stopped its growth, but the population has continued to increase in size.  To design a building that can accommodate the current representative needs spatially and how it can continue to grow with our population. Create additional program to accommodate intimate and group conversations with the representatives. 
  • The program, site, and other information you propose to use as a test of your hypothesis. Design vignettes of the programmatic spaces as a comparison and illustrate the improved scenario. 

Kit of Parts

Preservation – The preservation of a social contract

Preservation – The preservation of historical architecture

Monumentality – Impressive scale; to inspire; to bring attention to

Hierarchy – Public officials should be physically lower, vulnerable to the public

Light – Natural light to enter the space and provide a stronger connection with the outside 

Openness – Physically and Virtually more accessible to the public

Transparency – Meeting logs, conversations, emails, available openly without FOIA. 

Softscape – Landscape areas for conversation in a “natural” environment. 

Dialogue – You face your enemy; you sit with your friend. Changing the way we sit with our representation. 

The Watchtower becomes the Watchedtower.

Terms of Criticism

Is there a space to meet with representatives in a more natural way?

When the representatives are working, can the public see them?

Is there space for the public at hearings, committees, office meetings, and when congress is in session?

Does the building meet the standards of a healthy working atmosphere (healthy building)?

Does the building have a monumental stance in its environment that can command attention?

Design Directions

A monumental building that commands attention and open to the public. A Grand scale that can accommodate public viewing and all representatives with future growth. 

A lesser magistrate models. Abandon the capital building and rebuild state capitals to draw attention to the strength within the state and to make them more accessible locally. 

A focus on security and accessibility – Design a building that is resilient to not just future climate change but to a populace that needs to balance the security and safety of the public as well as the accessibility of the public. 

Research

The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates – Matthew J. Trewhella 

Site Selection 

The site still makes sense. I have a drive to complete the thesis as started. The foundation is strong and there are moments that need to be defined and those placemaking situations will require more research in order to have some key performance indices for whether or not they are successful or not. 

What is the Thesis

The primary objective of a thesis statement is to be that constant reminder of what the topic is. This helps to ensure that we don’t go off topic and keep the focus on the initial system. For instance, I was asking a research question of what are the factors that lead to society to circulate large scale buildings and bring attention to it. Monumentality plays a big role and in the Nazi capital it was purposeful to bring attention to the grandeur of the place and their society, so others who would visit would “write home about it.” The kit of parts are the moments of the placemaking that can define the spaces within the overarching building that will support the openness, transparency, and accessibility of the building. 

Update August 15

Terms of Criticism (Revised)

Is there a space to meet with representatives in a more direct and neutral way? The intent of the space would be to acknowledge that both parties; that of the representative and the citizen, are equal and there is not hierarchy above one another in these dialogue zones to better understand the needs of the community. 

When the representatives are working, can the public see them?

Is there space for the public at hearings, committees, office meetings, and when congress is in session?

Does the building meet the standards of a healthy working atmosphere (healthy building)?

Does the building have a monumental stance in its environment that can command attention?

For the design direction, I’d stick with the Capitol, but I do like the idea of also pursuing smaller buildings too. Perhaps the design direction you go in has a large building, but then also has smaller buildings spread out with passageways between them – where people from different parts of the country work. That way, you’d balance accessibility with the ability to close off paths – and focus on smaller representative groups collaborating together before bringing legislation to the larger group.
I really like this idea. There might be a Standard Operating Procedure that associates with these smaller rooms. I am thinking simple rules and if it makes it past the smaller committees then it can be presented to the larger federal level. 
1) Delete existing laws/regulations… For every bill proposed a proposal of revision or dissolution of an existing law/regulation must accompany it. 2) Parties Involved… Who does this benefit?3) Impact of existing state laws (other states than the repesentative)… How many State laws will this proposed bill impact negatively/positively. Is this law in opposition of State Laws? Is this law in support of existing State Laws?
It would be interesting to explore what those spaces could look like architecturally. 
I think this is an important step to a Representative Democracy is having a system to deal with any new proposals to check against itself. We often make so many laws that are contrary to other states and even existing laws. The Legislators tend to pass this off on the Judicial system to resolve the conflict, and it perpetuates the idea that the Judicial system is making law, while the onus is on the Legislators, but they don’t have a system like this to check against. It would be a great idea to explore what those spaces and interactions look like architecturally. I have diagramed these relationships below. Showing how the people can interact within a space with regions and states and then those regions will be able to check against themselves before moving to the floor of the federal legislators. This is necessary in my design because there is such a strong Federal power that it needs multiple checks before arriving. 


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