Giulia de Giovanelli

Graphic designer and educator passionate about brand design and experimental publishing. Based in Trentino Alto-Adige, Italy.

3. The Autonomous Archive

An installation, digital archive and publication
made in collaboration with Max Franklin and Franc González

            This project is an intervention on the archive of the historical living-community Vereniging Poortgebouw, based in Rotterdam. Aim of this project was to build a local archival-machine, to encourage the collaborative collection of materials that maps the history, the struggles and the unwritten stories of the Poortgebouw.

            Through designing a digital interface of mediation for the collection of the community’s documents, we built an open and active archival “machine”.

002a    the Autonomous Archive installed at Het Nieuwe Instituut         

002b   AutoArchive interface

002c   The Autonomous Archive at the Poortgebouw, Pic by Florian Cramer

            Poortgebouw is a 37 year old association that hosts cultural activities and a living community of 30 people. During these years the Poortgebouw has offered space for self-organised events and projects, acted as a residence for guests, artists and musicians, and provided a living and working space for different generations of people coming from all over the globe.

            Like many other appropriated spaces, the experience of the Poortgebouw's living arrangements are a-typical and thus not always socially accepted. The social history of the Poortgebouw is a history of dialogue and resistance, impacted in a sequence of legal struggles and their consequent adaptations.

            The archival platform is an intervention upon the archive of the Association Poortgebouw. The Poortgebouw's collection is a big agglomeration of legal documents, correspondence between municipality, lawyers, and its inhabitants, architectural drawings of spatial transformations, documentations of parties, concerts and events, annotations of meetings and an interesting collection of anarchist's zines and various accounts of community living. Aim of this platform is to archive locally and to encourage the collaborative collection of materials that maps the history of the Poortgebouw.

            The archival machine is open as being build upon the media-wiki platform where people can implement and interact with the archive; the tools utilized re-activate the documents allowing for new interactions and understandings. The archive is active as built on a local computer that will serve for the present and future generation of inhabitants to access the documents and store new materials.

            The pictures show the archive in its first propotype form.
---->    The archive is now accessible at:

Read more on the archive machine:

002d   analogue documentation of the work in progress by Max Franklin

002e    analogue documentation of the work in progress by Max Franklin

Giulia de Giovanelli