To do: begin categorizing the spaces of informal politics as well as the formal. What happens in airplanes, limos, between court rooms, in bars and restaurants, in shared apartments. Apparently Congress people often share shabby apartments in DC to allow their families back in the home state to live a representatively affluent life (need to find a citation for this). The condition is easy to identify, but it present something of a moral quandary for the architect: if informality is an important part of getting things done, how do you design for that without killing it?
Observation: the point of saying that I will design some sort of federal building in Washington, DC is to force the building into living up to extremely high standards, not in terms of design quality (since that's obviously not distributed equally in DC) but in terms of what the building must do if we are still to put any value whatsoever into the concepts of 'building' and 'government. '
The intense pressure that this site puts upon buildings to be representative, functional, and at least partially public is a trifecta of conditions which cannot be argued away. These requirements further render themselves into a thick stew when combined with the need for security and the expansion/change of governmental practice which both require some degree of flexible interior space.
(Inspired by this week's thesis lunch)