Anthony Acciavatti is a historian, cartographer, and architect. His most recent book, Ganges Water Machine (2015), is the first comprehensive mapping and urban history of the Ganges River Basin in over half a century. He spent a decade hiking, driving, and boating across the Ganges in order to map it and to understand the historical conflicts over water for drinking, agriculture, and industry. Combining fieldwork with archival research, the book is an atlas of the enterprise to transform the Ganges into the most hyper-engineered landscape in the world.
In 2016 Ganges Water Machine was awarded the 2016 John Brinckerhoff Jackson Book Prize. Along with the book, Ganges Water Machine is an internationally traveling exhibition with recent shows in New York, Mumbai, and New Delhi.
Recent publications include chapters on the work of Charles and Ray Eames in India, the history of infrastructure and urban growth in Asia, temporary cities and agriculture in monsoonal landscapes, and the formation of new scientific disciplines like psychorheology. He is currently completing a book on the history of science and design in Asia and the Americas.
His work has been supported by grants and fellowships from the National Science Foundation and Princeton University along with the Graham Foundation and Yale University where he was a Fellow in the Program in Agrarian Studies, and his work on the Ganges by a J. William Fulbright Fellowship as well as grants and fellowships from the Ford Foundation and Harvard University.
A founding editor of Manifest: A Journal of American Architecture and Urbanism, he has also written for The New York Times, Cabinet, Indian Express, Architectural Design, and Topos among other places.
He has worked as an architect in Europe, South Asia, and North America and is a principal of Somatic Collaborative in New York. He has taught at Princeton University and Columbia University as well as the Rhode Island School of Design.