Art & Architecture archive

Scope and Content

The archive spans the years 1982-2007 and comprises: administrative papers, including correspondence, 1982-2004; documentation of A&A-organised events and conferences, 1982-2007; minutes of meetings, 1982-2000; accounts, 1994-2003; membership lists, 1980s-1990s; and documentation of A&A funding bids, 1983-2004. Printed matter includes a complete run (to issue 60) of the Art & Architecture Journal (1984-2006), and a range of other A&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.

Administrative / Biographical History

Art & Architecture (A&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 & 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 & Architecture Journal).A single A&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&A has organised many lectures, conferences and other events in addition to producing the Art & 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&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.


The 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.

Access Information

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.

Acquisition Information

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

Other Finding Aids

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

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Neil Parkinson, May 2007.

Conditions Governing Use

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.

Custodial History

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


Occasional accruals to the main series are possible.


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