Public Domain Office: Ideas from Ideas, 2021.
This project proposes a “Public Domain Office” as an adaptive reuse of the Kaiser Convention Center in Oakland. The Office seeks to make accessible the wealth of information legally available for free use. However, the design doesn’t simply streamline access to the public domain. Instead, it makes the process of accessing information more physical, injecting movement and spatial transitions into the experience. To that end, the core element of the building is an information matrix filled with a collection of rooms to be filled with exhibits, maps, images, videos, films, etc. of information from the public domain, culled by a team of archivists. There is deliberately no single path through the matrix—the purpose of the matrix is to allow visitors to view and digest the scale of information of the public domain in a way that pushes them to draw their own conclusions about how disparate ideas may be connected. Thus, the building supports the generation of new ideas through this movement between different exhibits. The project also features data server storage space, an archive, offices, and a maker space to support the Office’s mission of idea generation through the use of existing public domain knowledge.