A practising architect and senior lecturer, Graham’s research is interdisciplinary and explores methods of collaborative and contemporary participatory working in the production of inclusive architectures, the process of design and the development of hybrid technologies in construction.
Graham brings expertise from more than 15 years working in practice to his teaching and scholarly activity on the BA Architecture and Professional Practice courses.
Graham Perring leads a design studio on the BA Architecture course and teaches at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels on the Professional Practice course. He studied at the University of Manchester and then at the Bartlett, UCL before joining Allies and Morrison Architects in 1997.
He co-founded Perring Architecture and Design in 2003, working extensively within the New Forest National Park and co-designed the award winning, collaborative Exbury Egg project with artist Stephen Turner and the Solent Centre for Architecture and Design. In addition to practising both in large and small scale design offices, more recently Graham has been involved working with rural communities in West Africa with the International Development charity Article 25.
While in practice, Graham taught part-time at the University of Portsmouth (2011-2012) before coming to Brighton, first as a visiting lecturer (2013-2014) and subsequently on a permanent basis (2014-present). He has led BA Studio 06 since 2014, working in both urban and rural contexts local to the Brighton area (Seafronting Brighton; (re)public Brighton; High Weald).
Graham’s research activity stems from his breadth of practice-based experience with wide ranging methods of collaborative and participatory engagement in the process of design. In 2013, he completed an MSc (Distinction) in Building and Urban Design in Development, at the Bartlett’s Development Planning Unit, UCL. His thesis explored factors and conditions affecting built-in resilience in the post-disaster reconstruction context and its relationship with people-led bottom-up participatory processes which look beyond physical outcomes. Building on his scholarly work, Graham has co-directed collaborative ‘live’ projects with selected university graduates during the summer recess with the Woodland Enterprise Centre, Flimwell (2015) and with the Brighton and Hove Allotment Federation at Craven Vale and Whitehawk Hill (2016).
BA Studio 06:
There is a complexity surrounding the significant role that buildings play in shaping how we live and experience life, I aim for clarity in my language (whether written into briefs or in individual conversations) in order to support these conversations with students. The studio invites students to consider less about what a building is and more about what it does, in order to focus thinking towards particular uses and conditions of occupancy.
It is important that students develop skills of detailed observation, investigation, research and thoughtfulness about place and people (in order to develop a position of being informed), from which they can generate specificity in their drawings and models. Students are asked to maintain logbooks which are a visual record of their research journey through the year. Studio 06 encourages students to produce predominantly by hand and through models and made objects in order to force this level of engagement. The briefs are written to encourage students, through their own research, to generate a detailed reading of territory through the eyes of another, thereby developing a key design skill about understanding place from ‘another’s perspective’.
There is also value in outcomes which are not planned or designed (this comes from being in the real practice of architecture). Often unintended and really good things happen in creative processes. The studio allows for this and encourages students to enjoy working with creative freedom as they work through the iterative design process. There are many, many right ways and the only wrong way is the one that doesn’t work. I value the approach that says “don’t think too much before doing, but don’t do too much without reflecting.” (Hamdi, 2012)
Selected talks, workshops and exhibitions
Graham Perring, “(re)public brighton: Valley Gardens”, at: Tangible & Intangible Commons, 13th June 2017, University of Brighton
Graham Perring, “Projects and Participatory Processes (the thing about people): Exbury Egg to Brighton Allotments”, at: Staff Lecture Series, 27th March 2017, University of Brighton
Hub Shelter - Experimental Practice collaboration live project with BA Architecture graduates & AP Architecture, for Brighton and Hove Allotment Federation, at: Craven Vale and Whitehawk Hill Allotments, Brighton.
Graham Perring and Kate Cheyne, “Village Workshop to Village Factory: The need for progressive rural manufacture, materials, crafts and construction”, at: Rurality Network and ARENA, 27 – 28th February 2015, University of Westminster
Fuel store - Experimental Practice collaboration live project with BA Architecture graduates & AP Architecture, at: Woodland Enterprise Centre, Flimwell.