Edward Hollis studied Architecture at Cambridge and Edinburgh Universities; and practiced as an architect for six years, first in Sri Lanka, in the practice of Geoffrey Bawa, at that time the ‘grand old man’ of Sri Lankan Architecture, famous for his garden of follies and ruins at Lunuganga; and then in the practice of Richard Murphy, well 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 until 2012, he ran undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Interior Design.
In 2012, Hollis became Deputy Director of Research across Edinburgh College of Art, co-ordinating our submission to the Research Excellence Framework 2014 in Art, Design and History of Art. He is now Director of Research ECA, working across the school assisting staff in developing research interests and projects of their own.
Ed teaches within interior design programmes, working with students on design projects at MA level in particular onthe re-occupation of critcial sites around Edinburgh, from the arts centre in the opld Edinburh University Vet School at Summerhall, to the Unievrsity's re-occupation of the former Royal Infirmary on Lauriston Place.
He also runs two elective programmes: Memory Theatres, and Building Stories, in which students from a wide variety of backgrounds from accross the University are encouraged to explore, design, and share the stories that buildings and spaces can tell, through creative writing, still, and moving image.
Working with follies and ruins in Sri Lanka, with modern interventions to historic buildings in Scotland, and in the notoriously slippery discipline of Interiors, has focussed Hollis' research and theoretical thinking on building stories and narrative structures connecting time, folk tale, and the built environment.
Edward Hollis is currently involved with plans to revive the ruins of Gillespie Kidd and Coia’s seminary at Cardross. His first book, ‘The Secret Lives of Buildings’: a collection of folk tales stories about mythical buildings was published in 2009; and his second ‘The Memory Palace: a book of lost Interiors’ was published in 2013. His third book, ‘How to Make a Home’ was published for the School of Life in 2016.