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subject areas: interior design and architecture, narrative, historiography

Personal profile


Edward Hollis studied Architecture at Cambridge and Edinburgh Universities. For the subsequent six years he practiced as an Architect. He worked first in Sri Lanka, in the practice of Geoffrey Bawa, famous for his garden of follies and ruins at Lunuganga; and then in the practice of Richard Murphy, known for his radical alterations to ancient and historic buildings in and around Edinburgh.

In 1999, Edward Hollis began lecturing in Interior Architecture at Napier University, Edinburgh, working with students both in the design studio, and in more theoretical disciplines. In 2004, he moved to Edinburgh College of Art, where he is now director of research in the School of Design, and Deputy Director of Resaearch ECA-wide.

Working with follies and ruins in Sri Lanka, with modern interventions to historic buildings in Scotland, and in the slippery discipline of Interiors, has focussed Edward’s research and theoretical thinking on the notion of time, story, and building.

Edward Hollis is currently working on a number of research projects. He is involved with current plans to revive the ruins of Gillespie Kidd and Coia’s seminary at Cardross. His first book, ‘The Secret Lives of Buildings’: a collection folk tales stories about mythical buildings was published in 2009, his second, 'The Memory Palace:  A Book of Lost Interiors' in 2013. Both were longlisted for the Samuel Johnson prize for non fiction.

Education/Academic qualification

Diploma of Architecture, James Court and Ramsay Garden: Two ways of living in Edinburgh, University of Edinburgh

Award Date: 1 Jan 1994

Master of Arts, Banaras: Order and Chaos in the Holy City, University of Cambridge

Award Date: 1 Jan 1992


  • NA Architecture
  • alteration, reuse, historiography
  • NK Decorative arts Applied arts Decoration and ornament
  • interiors, historiography


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