About Thomas Heatherwick
Thomas Heatherwick, the British design genius, is often called an architect. However, he did not receive any architect’s training but instead, studied three-dimensional design. Often considered dynamic and fun, his works span a great variety of genres, from The Rolling Bridge in London to news kiosk “Paperhouse”, London Double Decker Bus, London Olympic Torch, to smaller works such as the Spun chair and Friction Table etc.
According to Heatherwick, whether it is architecture, cooking or art, anything that can evoke people's imagination are based on the idea of innovation. And "creation" is at the core of all these, bringing fascinating things together.
Perhaps Heatherwick should be called an inventor more than anything. As a child, he read a lot of books about invention, and would sketch and make things to improve what he thought was unreasonable. Later he found that “invention” is not a school subject because you need creativity in all subjects, including science, art, architecture, etc. He also realised that for inventors, there is no such thing as style, because their mission is to find ideas that did not exist before.
Heatherwick considers what he does “problem-solving”. He is always trying to improve things and is interested in the way people think. When designing, he always tries to understand how people think, which he uses to improve his concept and design.
Heatherwick is increasingly known for his high profile architectural projects. In just a few years, these projects have been awarded or completed—Zeitz MOCAA in South Africa (opened in 2017), Coal Drops Yard in London (opened in 2018), Google California Headquarters (in collaboration with BIG), Google London headquarters (in collaboration with BIG), renovation of the London Olympic venues, Vessel in New York (opened in 2019)—making him one of the hottest names in architecture today. These prestigious undertakings also brought him the opportunity to learn from legendary architects Terence Conran and Norman Foster.
Perhaps it’s about being at the right place at the right time. As people with extreme wealth, such as Stephen Ross, Barry Diller and Larry Page, are becoming interested in crafting the public sphere, Heatherwick, the chosen architect, is well placed to help them find the best solution that is borne out of the client’s vision, while benefiting the city in a big way.
BODW has grown to become a world-class design event since its inception in 2002. Its star-studded lineup of speakers covers a wide range of design and design management disciplines, and has so far attracted the attendance of over 160,000 industry professionals. Speakers from the past two years include Trend Forecaster Li Edelkoort, former editor-in-chief and creative director of Wallpaper* Tony Chambers, award-winning Japanese architects Toyo Ito and Sou Fujimoto, Italian Artist Edoardo Tresoldi, British design critic and author Alice Rawsthorn, just to name a few!