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Eileen Gray

International Women’s Day 2020: women with influence


● Fully booked

Monday 2 March 2020
6.30 — 8pm

This event has now ended

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Eileen Gray, Villa E1027

© Photographs by Manuel Bougot

Join us for a fresh take on the work of Eileen Gray and consider the ways in which her legacy has influenced our perspectives on the work of women architects.

This conversation will bring together an architect and an historian to reflect on the work of Modernist architect Eileen Gray and revisit the relevance of her key buildings.

Born to an Irish family, Gray came to architecture late, having initially engaged with interior design and the arts more broadly. Yet she became one of the best known supporters of the Modern Movement in her time.

E-1027, her first and most recognised project, clearly follows the most avant-garde principles of her time and gives shape to ideas that were often confined to paper.

From contested authorship and Le Corbusier’s blatant vandalisation, to being virtually abandoned until recent more successful attempts at renovation, the afterlife of this project demonstrates the changing narratives surrounding the women designers of the 20th century. It also shows how Gray used her rather privileged position in life to create space for learning and experimentation, thus creating a precedent for many women to follow.

Rightfully referred to as one of the pioneers of the Modern Movement, Gray can hardly be considered a forgotten master. However, recent research and restoration work has permitted a re-evaluation of her work and allows us to consider how her journey and experiences paved the way for others to follow. The attention that projects such as E-1027 have received continues to influence the way we view the authorship and legacy of women architects.

Organised in association with Docomomo UK.


Eva Jiricna RA is a Czech architect and designer with offices in London and Prague. She cites Eileen Gray as one of her major influences and had the opportunity to meet her as a young architect.

Libby Sellers is a design historian, consultant, curator and writer. She was formerly a curator at the Design Museum, London and now focuses on writing, client consultancy and freelance curation. She is the author of Women Design: Pioneers in architecture, industrial, graphic and digital design from the twentieth century to the present day published in 2018.

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

Monday 2 March 2020

6.30 — 8pm

The Benjamin West Lecture Theatre, Burlington Gardens, Royal Academy of Arts

£15, £9