Graphical version

Royal College of Art

Art and Architecture Archive


Reference code(s): GB 1134 AA

Held at: Royal College of Art

Title: Art and Architecture Archive

Date(s): 1982-2007

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 16 boxes

Name of creator(s): Art and Architecture


Administrative/Biographical history:

Art and Architecture (A and A) (est 1982) is a membership organisation which provides a network for practitioners and a forum for debate surrounding the role of public art, design and building. Its origins can be found in a conference, Art and Architecture, held at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London in 1982. The event represented a coming together of various strands of thought and activity which had been considering the notion of art in a public context as beneficial to the environment. Art and Architecture as a membership society was formed in the wake of the conference and soon organised itself into four working parties, each addressing a different issue which had been prioritised during the conference. These included Per Cent for Art legislation (promoting the notion that a percentage of the capital costs for building should be allocated to an artistic contribution); the Live Projects Commissions group; the Events group, which organised a series of lectures; and Information and Education, which resulted in production of a newsletter (later the Art and Architecture Journal). A single A and A management board was established under the chair Sir Peter Shepherd. Later chairs included Theo Crosby, Peter Rawstorne, Jenny Towndrow, Christopher Martin, Peter Lloyd-Jones and Graham Cooper.

A and A has organised many lectures, conferences and other events in addition to producing the Art and Architecture journal, edited for many years by former Royal College of Art Librarian Hans Brill. An overriding theme of its work has been the interdisciplinary process and the potential for collaboration and communication between architects and artists, designers and makers.

In 2002, A and A organised a series of events under the banner 'Next Generation' to mark its twentieth anniversary and to consider new approaches to public art and collaboration for the 21st century. The donation of the archive coincided with its twenty-fifth anniversary, around which a number of events were planned, including a three-month exhibition at the Buildings Centre.


Scope and content/abstract:

The archive spans the years 1982-2007 and comprises: administrative papers, including correspondence, 1982-2004; documentation of A and A-organised events and conferences, 1982-2007; minutes of meetings, 1982-2000; accounts, 1994-2003; membership lists, 1980s-1990s; and documentation of A and A funding bids, 1983-2004. Printed matter includes a complete run (to issue 60) of the Art and Architecture Journal (1984-2006), and a range of other A and A publications and ephemera (postcards, fliers), many of which were designed by Pentagram Design. There is also a set of posters used to advertise the lecture series. The collection is augmented by a range of peripheral material published by other sympathetic bodies, including the Public Art Forum and the Landscape and Arts Network.


Language/scripts of material: English.

System of arrangement:

The Art and Architecture collection is divided into two sections, the first containing archives and manuscript material, the second, printed matter. The former section is arranged by type (minutes, accounts etc) and chronologically. There is a separate poster tube containing many of the posters used to advertise events.

Conditions governing access:

Items in the collection may be consulted for the purpose of private study and personal research, within the controlled environment and restrictions of the RCA's Archives Room. A small amount of material containing personal data is closed to researchers until further notice.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Items are made available for the purpose of private study and personal research only. A reader wishing to publish material in the collection should contact the Special Collections Manager, Royal College of Art, in writing. The reader is responsible for obtaining permission to publish from the copyright owner.

Finding aids:

A handlist/inventory is available in the RCA Library. A digital copy of this may be emailed on request.



Occasional accruals to the main series are possible.

Archival history:

Created and maintained by founder members and management of Art and Architecture.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Gift of RCA alumni and A and A founders Graham Cooper and Jane Riches, November 2006.


Publication note:

Publication note: 'AandA 1982-2002' in Art & Architecture: Next Generation (supplement to Art and Architecture Journal no.57).


Archivist's note: Entry by Neil Parkinson.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: May 2007.

Art education | Cultural education
Building design | Construction engineering
Urban planning | Urban development
Works of art | Arts
Movable cultural property
Public art
Town and country planning

Personal names

Corporate names
Art and Architecture
Pentagram Design
Royal College of Art