Architecture Studio Archive: A case study in the comprehensive digital capture and repository of student design work as an aid to teaching, research and accreditation

18 May 2010

The ‘Architecture Studio Archive’ pilot sought to form a comprehensive digital archive of the diverse student work conducted in the first year of the Bachelor of Design in Architecture Degree at the University of Sydney. The design studio is the primary vehicle for teaching architectural design. It is a locus for creative activity, with students producing diverse works in analogue and digital media (sketches, final hand and CAD drawings, conceptual and scale models and written work). Following assessment, they either take their work home or abandon it to potential damage in the studio. There is generally little record of its existence for future reference. This project promised the retention of this material and the production of a powerful, searchable digital archive in the Sydney eScholarship Repository using the open access digital management system DSpace for long-term storage and dissemination of the material. The intention was to establish procedures and protocols for digital archiving practices suitable to creative work. This article documents the project as a case study from its inception, through the development of archival procedures and protocols, to loading of the work by students, and its subsequent use as a resource for teaching, research, accreditation and promotion.