The Grassroots Archive

In the world of academia, we are always interested in the ACCESS we have to information. Some information is kept under lock and key, while other bits are scattered to the four winds. Archives attempt to regulate information, and in doing so impose systems that, while noble in their inception, end up restricting the public’s ACCESS in some way. Increasingly, the archivist’s role falls to individuals outside the boundaries of sanctioned institutions. They create blogs or Flickr pages and convert their homes into suburban museums. But does all of this deregulation increase one’s ACCESS to the information, or does it simply increase the static one must sort through to find the station they’re looking for? Can we derive a system that puts the most valuable information in the unrestricted hands of those searching for it? More importantly, can we increase the public’s desire for information and erase the notion of dusty flat files sitting untouched for years at a time? These are the questions we will tackle at DesignInquiry 10, by taking a multifaceted look at the “grassroots” archive and applying unconventional methodologies to the problem of developing a valuable and ACCESSable DesignInquiry archive.