Drawing Ambience: Alvin Boyarsky and the Architectural Association

2021-05-08 to 2021-12-05

Preface / Jut Art Museum

“Drawing” is not only a language of design and format, but also a medium to communicate ideas and explore architecture. In the context of architecture and urban development, these threads of ideas on paper continue to profoundly influence our lives.

In the 1960s, avant-garde architecture experiments and imaginations emerged amid drastic changes in the world. Since the 1970s, architecture returned to intellectual enquiries on history and contemporary, and drawings have been playing an important role. In Drawing Ambience: Alvin Boyarsky and the Architectural Association, we present spaces of imagination inspired by architectural drawings. It also embodies how AA, led by Alvin Boyarsky, staged a platform for emerging architects to compete and collaborate, with publications, exhibitions, outdoor installations, and other programs. It created a changing and experimental ambience that established AA as a leading international architecture school. Co-ogranized by Jut Art Museum and Alvin Boyarsky Archive, this exhibition includes valuable drawings collected by Boyarsky, and displays all kinds of publications extended from existing foundations. Event series will also bring viewers and participants back to the time when teaching and learning inspired idea exchanges.

As the first museum that focuses on “city” and “future” in Taiwan, Jut Art Museum has introduced multiple international disciplines and discourses, such as “Metabolism: The City of the Future” in 2013, and “SOS Brutalism—Save the Concrete Monsters!” in 2020. By highlighting architectural drawings, this exhibition attempts to explore changing and experimental aspects in the educational process. Hopefully, these worldviews constructed by then emerging architects will encourage next-generation architects, designers, and educators to contemplate on current systems, and open up their imaginations on architecture and urban development.


Curatorial Statement 

Drawing Ambience features fifty works on paper from the collection of Alvin Boyarsky. Since its inaugural exhibition at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington University in St. Louis in 2014, and the Museum of Art Rhode Island School of Design (RISD Museum) in Providence in 2015, this is the first time that the exhibition has made its way to Taiwan at the Jut Art Museum in 2021.  

The leading educator and chairman of the Architectural Association School of Architecture (AA) in London from 1971 to 1990. Boyarsky’s collection, containing works of students and practitioners who passed through the AA in those years, constitutes a visual record of the rapid dissolution of singular post-World War II modernist canons and the blossoming of varied approaches to the study and practice of architecture that fused together ideas about history, memory, and urbanism as well as contemporary culture and advances in technology and new media. 

From the European Radicals of the 1960s to the deconstructivist tendencies of the 1980s, the collection reflects a time of change and experimentation in architecture, both at the AA and worldwide. It also reveals the breadth of Boyarsky’s pedagogical approach, which placed unprecedented priority on the art and concept of drawing through a unique constellation of teaching, exhibitions, and publications. For him drawing was not only a representational medium but also a form of architecture in its own right. “We fight the battle with the drawings on the wall”—these famous words of his reflect the climate of resistance, change, and experimentation that marked Boyarsky’s pedagogical innovations. 

The prominence of drawing as the primary medium for architectural exploration at the AA also relates to the emphasis on representation and display that emerged within the field during this time, as exhibitions, collections, and archives of architectural drawings began to proliferate within an increasingly international system of influence and exchange. Situated at the center of this global ambience was Boyarsky himself, a collector not only of drawings but also, metaphorically speaking, of the people and ideas that passed through architectural history during those productive years. 

Drawing Ambience reflects both the delicate atmosphere of individual drawings as well as the ambience of the entire school where these drawings were produced, displayed and debated, illuminating the timeless connection between the hand and the imagination and its renewed relevance within today’s digital world. 

Drawing Ambience: Alvin Boyarsky and the Architectural Association is co-organized by the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington University in St. Louis and the Museum of Art Rhode Island School of Design (RISD Museum) in Providence and it is curated by Igor Marjanović, JoAnne Stolaroff Cotsen professor of architecture at Washington University in St. Louis and Jan Howard, Houghton P. Metcalf Jr. Curator of Prints, Drawings and Photographs at the RISD Museum. Exhibition design by Boyarsky Murphy Architects. All works courtesy of the Alvin Boyarsky Archive. The exhibition catalog for Drawing Ambience is distributed globally by the University of Chicago Press.


  • Curators|Igor Marjanović  , Jan Howard 
  • Advisor|C. David Tseng


  • Date2021.05.08-09.05 【Exhibition extended until 2021.12.05】
  • Venue|Jut Art Museum (No.178, Sec. 3, Civic Blvd., Da'an Dist., Taipei City 106, Taiwan)
  • Opening Hours|TUE-SUN 10:00-18:00 (Closed on Mondays)
  • Admission|General TWD 100, Concessions TWD 80 (Student, seniors aged 65 and above, and groups of 10 or more) Free Admission for the disabled and a companion, children aged 12 and under (Concessions or Free Admission upon presentation of valid proof)
  • Student Day on WED|Free Admission once on Wednesdays upon presentation of valid student ID


  • Exhibition Team
    • Supervisors|Aaron Y. L. LEE, Alex Y. H. LEE, Shan-Shan HUANG
    • Exhibition Coordinators| Yu-Kuei PENG, Wei HUANG
    • Assistant Coordinators|Yu-Ming CHEN, Wei-Jie OU, Ying-Peng CHEN, Chih-Hung CHEN
    • Communications and Marketing|Szu-An CHEN, Yen-Hsiu CHEN, Yen-Shan LI, Shu-Yuan CHANG
    • Public Service|Shu-Yuan CHANG, Tzu-Yi YANG
    • Administration Coordinators|Shiang-Yu HUANG, Tzu-Yi YANG
    • Exhibition Assistants|Yu-Hsuan LIN, Hui-Chi CHIH, Tian-Yu XIAO, Jun-En CHIOU, Hung-Hua TSENG
    • Chinese Proofreading|Ling Tien
    • Exhibition Designer|Boyarsky Murphy Architects, Nicholas Boyarsky, Nicola Murphy, Ling Siang GUO
    • Visual ConceptCounterspace, Michael Worthington
    • Graphic Designer|Wei-Chun LI
    • Lighting Designer|Chung-Chang Ho 



"Drawing Ambience" Seminar Series – Session V: Platform – How Museums Curate to Distribute and Integrate Ideas


* Warning: Due to the equipment conditions, the beginning with reverb by 01:40. 

"Drawing Ambience" Curator/ Igor Marjanović


"Drawing Ambience" Curator/ Jan Howard


"Drawing Ambience" Organizer/ Alvin Boyarsky Archive - Nicholas Boyarsky



2021.05.08-12.05 Drawing Ambience: Alvin Boyarsky and the Architectural Association
2021.05.06 Opening
2021.05.08 Opening Remark: "Drawing Ambience" Seminar Series – Session Ⅰ
2021.10.02 "Drawing Ambience" Seminar Series – Session Ⅱ: People
2021.10.16 "Drawing Ambience" Seminar Series – Session Ⅲ: Publication
2021.10.30 "Drawing Ambience" Seminar Series – Session Ⅳ: Pedagogy