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Thomas Heatherwick

55 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 16 August 2014

Thomas Heatherwick is a designer with an international reputation for experimentation and surprise. In 2012 his Olympic Cauldron came together from 204 copper elements - now he hopes to design a garden bridge over the River Thames in London. Formed in 1994, Heatherwick Studio has worked on projects including a new design for the Red Doubledecker London Bus, a zip handbag and flagship store for Longchamps in Soho New York and the award winning UK Pavilion for the Shanghai World Expo 2010.

He has presented ideas for a giant aviary in Mumbai which preserves Zoroastrian funeral rites, a park in Abu Dhabi using desert material and a gallery built inside grain silos in Cape Town, South Africa. In 2004, Thomas was the youngest practitioner to be appointed a Royal Designer for Industry and he is today an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), a Royal Academician and has been made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to the design industry.

In this programme recorded in partnership with RIBA, Thomas Heatherwick talks to Razia Iqbal about the idea of creating a place of tranquillity in a city through his idea for a garden bridge in London, how you choreograph a moment like the Olympic torch ceremony, the importance of 'making', getting your hands dirty and asking the right questions and he considers ways in which architectural training can be improved.

Photo ©: Elena Heatherwick


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