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Democratic by Design: Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture





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Published on Jun 5, 2012

In 1962, President Kennedy authorized the Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture, written by Daniel Patrick Moynihan to raise Americans' expectations of federal buildings.Democratic by Design: Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture commemorates the golden anniversary of this document, and celebrates its positive impact on government's investment in the public realm.

With narration by Luke Russert, the film features leading thinkers and practitioners in American architecture, who recount Senator Moynihan's criteria for design. Surveying the work of GSA's Public Buildings Service and other federal agencies, these commentators also examine the ways the guiding principles are interpreted to maximize the benefits of federal architecture. Democratic by Design is both a retrospective of a seminal policy achievement and a road map for another 50 years of excellence.

Democratic by Design reflects the special role of public buildings in American life. They aid in delivery of vital services, and they define roles and values of our society.


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