New Media

  • Entangled Archive: A Digital Framework for Collecting and Sharing the Dispersed Legacy of the AA Department of Tropical Architecture
    Architectural Association School of Architecture

Students of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Architecture, constructing a geodesic dome, under tutorage of John Lloyd and Keith Critchlow, 1964. Photograph. Courtesy AA Archives. Photo: Keith Critchlow

The Entangled Archive provides an online digital platform to make the work held by the Architectural Association (AA) Archive and the dispersed work of the graduates of the Department of Tropical Architecture (DTA) available to the next generation of researchers eager to examine the network of global relationships and challenge the orthodoxy of the DTA program. The project aims to catalogue the existing archival material of the DTA; to make this work available through digitization and publication via an online database; to contact living alumni to trace the legacy of the DTA, discover and preserve missing documents, and to record the experiences of this dispersed international cohort; and lastly, to use this resource and the online exhibition of the collated work as a springboard for a discussion around the role of education in colonial and decolonial projects.

Ingrid Schroder is the director of the AA. She is a British-American architect and academic and was previously a lecturer in architectural history, and urban and landscape theory at Cambridge University, an institution which she taught at for over twenty years. In 2015 she coedited African Modernism (Park Books, 2015, 2022), which explored the close relationship between architecture and nation-building in Ghana, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, and Zambia. Her ongoing research is concerned with shifting perceptions of nature and landscape in the face of climate change, and the architecture and urbanism of liberation movements.

Edward Bottoms is the AA’s head of archives and a tutor within the History and Theory Studies, and Professional Practice programs. He has also taught courses in architecture and archival science at Southeast University, Nanjing. Current interests and publications include work on archival theory and the histories of architectural education and publishing. He was a co-convener of the 2020 Architectures/Archives conference, in collaboration with Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain (SAHGB) and Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), and was a partner in the recent Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded international Architectural Models Network, hosted by the V&A.

Beihu Wang is the chief technology officer of the AA. An experienced digital leader with a track record of driving successful digital transformation across multiple HE institutions. He earned a PhD in computer science at Edinburgh Napier University. His research focuses on achieving high reusability in digital development through scenario-based deep adaptation and generation.

The Architectural Association (AA) was founded in 1847 with the aspiration of “promoting and affording facilities for the study of architecture for the public benefit.” As the oldest independent school of Architecture in the United Kingdom, the AA is bound up with the histories and legacies of various figures, projects, and pedagogies. As a cultural and educational forum, renowned for fearlessly and critically looking into the future, the school has played a part in fostering some remarkable architectural careers and critical debates. As an international organization, the AA has an impressive global reach of 7500 members and 154k social media followers, as well as a public program, visiting school and membership teams committed to building upon this.