GRAY is a project that will revolve around the ideas and persona of Irish architect and designer Eileen Gray. She was a talented quirky artist with diverse talents who did not like being in the spotlight. Starting out in 1920s Paris as a young designer, she soon grew into an autonomous 'self-made' architect. She befriended public favourite Le Corbusier, who helped her design. Her first successful project was the villa E1027 on the Côte d'Azur, which can still be visited.
Le Corbusier's ego was hurt by the innovative style and approach of this villa. He developed an obsession with the place and built his own 'cabanon' at the top of the site overlooking the villa. Eileen broke with her husband Jean Badovici and moved deeper into the French interior to build a new villa. During Eileen's absence, Le Corbusier painted the villa's white walls with drawings and had this captured on film. With this addition, the villa will be published for decades as his work.
Gray's life story provides an interesting metaphor to expose the issues we still feel today around gender equality, authorship and finding/claiming a place or space. History is blistering with this kind of glossing over of female power and exploitation. GRAY's text is a dialogue between different voices that, with and through this story (and Eileen Gray's still-innovative ideas), search for a form to share a space together.