The Archigram Archival Project makes the works of the seminal experimental architectural group Archigram available free online for an academic and general audience. It is a new kind of academic archive, being purely digital – showing material held in different places around the world and privately and variously owned, and aimed at a wide online design community, discovering it through Google or social media, as well as a traditional academic audience.
The project recorded and presents digital versions of almost 10,000 items, including drawings, paintings, models, magazines, built works, photographs, letters, texts, forming a body of 202 projects produced by the group and related publications and ephemera. Alongside this it included new interviews with the group and essays by leading international academics.
The site has been acclaimed both for its academic achievements and for its accessibility to a non-traditional academic audience. It was shortlisted for the RIBA Research Awards and rated as 'Outstanding' by its funding body the AHRC. It received 40,000 users and more than 250,000 page views in the first two weeks, taking the site into twitter’s Top 1000 sites, and a steady flow of visitors – around a hundred a day – ever since.
"The Archigram Archival Project is perhaps without peer even among the best generally-accessible online resources.... its accessibility should be an inspiration for other archival projects. ... The Archigram Archival Project is already surrounded on Google by blogs that are talking about it.... This is a significant cultural change for archives."
Simon Sadler, Professor of Architecture and Urban History, University of California
"... a truly outstanding new model for research-rich digital based projects internationally."
Irena Murray, Director and Sir Banister Fletcher Librarian, British Architectural Library
"Is this the best website dedicated to a single architect ever?"
Kieran Long, architectural critic and curator
The project was run by a team from the University of Westminster led by Dr Kester Rattenbury (Prinicpal Investigator) and Professor Murray Fraser (co-investigator) in collaboration with the surviving members of Archigram or their heirs and the Centre for Parallel Computing at the University of Westminster (led by Stephen Winter and Thierry Delaitre). It was funded through a £300,000 AHRC Resource enhancement grant. Project manager was Clare Hamman; web design was by Filip Visnjic and Pierpaolo di Panfilo.