Kent State University
University of Washington Bothell
Gallery Project Statement
unARchived is a mobile publishing platform and accompanying website that uses geolocation and augmented reality to explore critical histories and narratives of place. Created in collaboration with The People’s Geography of Seattle, as well as undergraduate students at University of Washington Bothell, unARchived is an open-source project designed to enable the creation and distribution of content by and for the public. Using augmented reality technologies, the project engages with archival documents in order to reveal changes in the built environment over time, spark critical conversations about those changes, and highlight efforts to create more just and equitable urban futures. By overlaying current buildings and landmarks with images, historical documents, stories, and other qualitatively rich content, the app can present the changing history of particular places in any number of unique and interactive ways.
As we have been developing and piloting unARchived, we have focused on Pioneer Square, Seattle’s oldest neighborhood, to show some modest examples of what the platform can do. As the project continues to develop, the app will empower communities with different experiences of these histories to create and share their own narratives. Eventually, we’d love to collaborate with communities and support them in creating and sharing their own experiences using the platform.
We hope unARchived will become a tool to facilitate serious analysis and conversation about development, displacement, community, urban culture and ecology, the promises and perils of technology, and other tensions that have been with the city since its founding, and which continue to be actively negotiated in the present. Ultimately, we hope unARchived will become a multi-sited, multi-layered collective project spanning multiple communities and extending beyond the city of Seattle.