Kester Rattenbury. The Archigram Archive
he Archigram archival project made the works of seminal experimental architectural group Archigram available free online for an academic and general audience. It was a major archival work, and a new kind of digital academic archive, displaying material held in different places around the world and variously owned. It was aimed at a wide online design community, discovering it through Google or social media, as well as a traditional academic audience. It has been widely acclaimed in both fields. The project has three distinct but interlinked aims: firstly to assess, catalogue and present the vast range of Archigram’s prolific work, of which only a small portion was previously available; secondly to provide reflective academic material on Archigram and on the wider picture of their work presented; thirdly to develop a new type of non-ownership online archive, suitable for both academic research at the highest level and for casual public browsing. The project hybridised several existing methodologies. It combined practical archival and editorial methods for the recovery, presentation and contextualisation of Archigram’s work, with digital web design and with the provision of reflective academic and scholarly material. It was designed by the EXP Research Group in the Department of Architecture in collaboration with Archigram and their heirs and with the Centre for Parallel Computing, School of Electronics and Computer Science, also at the University of Westminster. It was rated ‘outstanding’ in the AHRC’s own final report and was shortlisted for the RIBA research awards in 2010. It received 40,000 users and more than 250,000 page views in its first two weeks live, taking the site into twitter’s Top 1000 sites, and a steady flow of visitors thereafter. Further statistics are included in the accompanying portfolio. This output will also be returned to by Murray Fraser for UCL.