Architecture as a social (re)creation, by Dr Edward Hollis [Talk date: 11 March 2015]

A talk by Edward Hollis
Crag Seminar – The University of Edinburgh
11 March 2015 Room G.02
5.30 pm

Listen to the session here

Architecture has often been understood as the creation of coherent, singular realities by coherent, singular authors; but buildings almost always outlive their creators, and once they do, they are set to uses, and extended and altered in ways never originally imagined.

In this paper, Edward Hollis, Reader in Design at Edinburgh College of Art will argue that the realities of re-creation invite a more recreational , and less predictable way of inhabiting buildings than traditional models. Like folk tales, or the performance of drama or music, the art of occupation is an open work that moves not just in space, but in time.


Edward Hollis is an architect, a teacher, and a writer.

He currently lives in Edinburgh, where he is Reader in Interior Design and Deputy Director of Research at Edinburgh College of Art in the University of Edinburgh.

In Autumn 2009 ‘The Secret Lives of Buildings’ was published by Portobello Books in London, and Metropolitan in New York. This was followed in 2013 ‘The Memory Palace: A Book of Lost Interiors’.


Feedback of the session

40 people were present
including 30% of students
30% of researchers (lecturers, fellows…)
40% of outside visitors
15 feedback sheets were filled

1 – the idea from the talk that you would like to remember or discuss: ephemeral structures, historicising the more recent past, anti-preservation policy, how do we create an evolving architecture, the meaning assigned to architecture is time specific

2 – level of interest: mostly high (80%)

3 – Expected themes for future sessions: How is reality possible? how big ideas can relate to the practical?

Posted in Crag seminar.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *