Weiss, Louis J
Master of Architecture
The innovative and entrepreneurial drive are constructs that inform the collective American psyche, and a balance between exclusive, limited rights to knowledge and the free conveyance of knowledge within the public realm constitutes the balance which the patent system should strive to achieve. However, the over-privileging of some with exclusive rights to ideas often works to the detriment of the American public, accentuates our individual subjective desires, and suppresses our collective conscience. Property Conveyor re-imagines the United States Patent Office. It houses all office programs related to patent review and introduces three new, distinctly public programs: an education forum, courtrooms for patent infringement cases, and a café, all providing the opportunity for discourse on patented information and technology. By refashioning the patent office with a mix of private office programs and related public programs, it becomes a new kind of institution in which the machines of bureaucracy and its effects on public life are brought into a productive relationship. Spiral forms suggest nested relations between interior and exterior, public and private. The spiral begins and ends at distinct points, but along its route, every part is related to all others. In this project, a spiral datum provides the primary horizontal circulation space for all users of the building. In so doing, the spiral coheres a thicket of public and private functions into a single form which produces relations not only between adjacent programs, but across the spectrum of programs within the building. The spiral is an orienting device, coordinating and opening up the functions of a bureaucracy to the city. It is a form through which the public is invited, leading them to express their affirmations and doubts about the patent process and the nature of intellectual property at large.