Friday, February 9, 2018

Four years ago, in the summer of 2013, the "Warfield Archives of Vernacular Architecture" were dedicated at the College of Architecture and Urban Planning at Tongji University in Shanghai, China. 

The inaugural collection, housed in the Tongji University Museum and curated by Museum Director Liu Yuting, consisted of 20,000 digital images, photographs, drawings, travel journals and written works focusing on 50 years of research in worldwide vernacular architecture. The intention in establishing these digital archives was to share this work with scholars, students of architecture, and design professionals around the world. Since its initiation, the website has been accessed over 500,000 times. The collection has grown to over 50,000 and images.

This annual report, sent to an expanded e-mail audience, is intended to highlight the most significant new additions to the archives as well as some changes in the format of the website

In the last four years, over 200 new galleries have been added to the initial collection. Recognizing that most new files and images have been added without fanfare and absorbed into the greater collection, an initial gallery has been created to feature the newest collections.

The most recent such features include:

1. Two new books, "An African Journal" and "Netherworlds"

2. Two of the most recent "Warfield Columns" published in the Chinese preservation journal Heritage Architecture, "Architectural Essence in Ruin and Decay" and "The Language of Dreams"

3. Three collections of past travels, "Namibia – 2000," "India North – 2008," and "Venice, Italy – 2014"

4. Two lectures delivered at ARTIS-Naples, "East Meets East" 2017 and "The Transformation of Architecture in the 20th Century in China" 2013

5. A photo essay entitled "Roads My Father Feared I'd Travel."

Since this annual update is being sent to many for the first time, we include links to the 2013 archives dedication catalog:  as well as the catalog afterword: and

Recently, discussions have begun to include the WAVA in the Digital Archives of the University of Illinois as well as Istanbul Technical University, the University of San Andres in Bolivia, and the Mackintosh School of Architecture in Glasgow.

Feel free to share this report and links to the archives with others interested in the subject and objectives.


Link to celebration of UIUC alumnus Max Abramovitz: