Specifying Public Information

If the construction of semantic space was an organized process like the construction of physical space, more consensus documents are needed.

The real world, historical process of creating, promoting, and maintaining places for democracy to be conducted occurs in places and buildings around the world.

The project map below shows a sample set of public projects by the Architect of the Capitol


Democracy is also conducted at embassies around the world regardless of how many buildings you have.


Hot Spots Around the World

Private enterprise has a role in democracy. The magnificent, spacious, new Newseum building is a place to discuss free speech, free press, and free spirit in sweeping and fine detail. See a construction movie of the building coming to life here. The purposefully transparent building is ideally located between the Capitol and White House  to put the first amendment under a microscope.

Photo by Sam Kittner

The requirements for constructing and making democracy big and transparent in the digital world are harder to plan for and construct than the real world. In the real world property lines already exist and there is defined processes for building based upon where the building will stay. There is not a formalized system for public information to be built or stay in places yet.

To pretend public information were like public places made through contracts like buildings – the first document needed for any project would be a set of General Conditions defining the roles of typical project participants. It could be a diverse mix.


Tree of Life, Gustav Klimt at Krobs

AIA201 reduces the complexity of every project and the entire AEC industry to only 3 roles: Owner, Architect, and Contractor. The Architect’s drawings and specifications are directed exclusively to the attention of the Contractor. Yet, the Architect has no direct relationship with the Contractor except to certify the work is in compliance with the contract documents and design intent.

If you keep the basic structure of 3 roles but switch:

Owner = Public
Architect = Press
Contractor = Government


People in the University of Florida Department of Astronomy

Excerpts from A201:

Owner (public) and Contractor (democratic government), both the person or entity identified as such in the agreement and referred to throughout the Contract Documents as if singular in number.
But, what are the contract drawings and specifications?


The Contractor (democratic government) shall perform Work in accordance with the Contract Documents?
But, what are the performance requirements for public semantic spaces promoting democracy by enabling community voices?
What is the relationship between the public as Owner, the press as Architect, and democratic government as Contractor to define information exchange requirements

A201cont: The Contractor (democratic government) shall not be relieved of obligations to perform the Work in accordance with the Contract Documents either by activities or duties of the Architect (press) in the Architect?s administration of the Contract (Constitution), or by tests, inspections or approvals required or performed by persons other than the Contractor (democratic government).

What should this information structure feel like when you are in this place?


Gustav Klimt Beech Forest

What type of information structure would work best for a new democracy like Nigeria to thrive? What is comfortable? What gets things done? What worries and concerns are on their minds? What is the role of the local and world press in a city like Lagos? Can idealized information exchange structures be made to avoid reinventing the wheel and provide people in need with sustainable information designs?

CSI divisions lumped into groups, suggesting an order for standardizing data architecture construction documents:

General Conditions (broad definition of roles and legal requirements, typically stay the same to update every 10 years or so)
00 – Procurement & Contracting Requirements (typically removed after bid, reflected in the final construction documents and owner/contractor agreement)
01 – General Requirements (particular to specific projects)
02 – Existing Conditions

03 – Concrete
04 – Masonry
05 – Metals
06 – Wood, Plastics, and Composites

Environmental Performance
07 – Thermal & Moisture Protection
08 – Openings

09 – Finishes
10 – Specialties
11 – Equipment
12 – Furnishings
13 – Special Construction
14 – Conveying Equipment

21 – Fire Suppression
22 – Plumbing
23 – Heating, Ventilating, and Air-Conditioning (HVAC)
26 – Electrical
27 – Communications
28 – Electronic Safety and Security

Outside Integration
31 – Earthwork
32 – Exterior Improvements
33 – Utilities


24 thoughts on “Specifying Public Information

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