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Charles Holland and Grayson Perry in Conversation

Mon 18 Nov 2019, 6.30-8pm

Join contemporary artist Grayson Perry and architect Charles Holland to discuss the design and production of A House for Essex, a seminal building and art piece by FAT Architecture and Grayson Perry for Alain de Botton’s Living Architecture organisation.

A House for Essex is designed as a contemporary interpretation of the wayside or pilgrimage chapel. The form and decoration of the house explores the historic and contemporary character of Essex. It is also a commemoration of Julie Cope, a fictional ‘Essex everywoman’ created by Perry. The exterior is clad in 2,300 deep olive green and white ceramic tiles, designed by Perry, that depict totems of Julie’s life.


Charles Holland

Charles Holland is the principal of Charles Holland Architects, an international design and research practice, and a Professor of Architecture at the University of Brighton. He is a former director of FAT (Fashion, Architecture, Taste) where he led the collaboration on A House for Essex. 

Charles has exhibited at the Royal Academy, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Venice Biennale where FAT co-curated the British Pavilion in 2014.

Grayson Perry CBE

Perry studied at Braintree College of Further Education from 1978 to 1979 and graduated from Portsmouth Polytechnic in 1982. He was awarded the Turner Prize in 2003.

He works in a variety of mediums but is best known as a ceramicist. Although he uses traditional methods to make his pots, he employs a range of techniques, such as embossing and photographic transfers, to create intricate, animated surfaces. Perry has had solo exhibitions at the Barbican, the British Museum, Arnolfini, the Serpentine and many more internationally. He has made a number of television programmes for Channel 4, his TV and radio appearances also include Have I got News for You, Question Time, Desert Island Discs and QI.

The event will be chaired by Vanessa Norwood, creative director of the Building Centre.

The event is free to attend but booking is essential.


This event is part of the 'Hand Held to Super Scale: Building with Ceramics’ exhibition and  public programme curated by the Building Centre exhibitions team and Fettle Studio, a ceramics studio founded by Lydia Johnson, architect and product designer at Citizens Design Bureau. Supported by the Built Environment Trust.



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