Prototypes are important and interesting, yet poorly documented and exposed in today's design environment. A wealth of creativity and visionary ideas is lost over time.
PROTOarchive seeks to remedy this by creating a web-based platform where designers and architects can upload images and information about their prototypes. The prime objective is to help designers reach out with their ideas. PROTOarchive also seeks to create a meeting point between designers and others in the industry. For journalists, furniture producers and others, who are interested in following the latest developments in furniture design, PROTOarchive is thus a valuable tool.
In terms of designers the benefits of using PROTOarchive is increased exposure of their ideas. In order to display their prototypes, designers are typically limited to fairs, own websites and design magazines. These are expensive, blunt and/or undemocratic channels. PROTOarchive by contrast is free and there is no censorship. Yes, to upload prototypes you have to have a degree in design or architecture from a university, but that is the only limitation.
Another aspect worth mentioning is that the date of publication is clearly stated along with each prototype. PROTOarchive can therefore be an important tool in helping to eradicate arguments of who came up with an idea first.
Over time PROTOarchive will evolve into a library filled with interesting prototypes. The archive will hopefully lead to a better understanding of design and how it evolves over time.