Inside Heatherwick Studio
by Kate Goodwin
Located in London, at the heart of a dynamic international city, Heatherwick Studio is at the forefront of a new wave of British designers that are pioneering inventive and original production. Heatherwick Studio distinguishes itself through the ever-growing scale and ambition of its projects. Resisting conventional categorisation, the studio operates across multiple disciplines from furniture and product design to architecture and urban planning. Inspired by the UK’s rich history of great inventors and designers, Thomas Heatherwick leads the 160-person studio to challenge established thinking and push ideas to new limits.
Heatherwick has always been interested in imaginative ideas and sculptural forms. He pursued a career in design rather than fine art, to create things that people would use or inhabit day-to-day, thus exerting a wide-reaching influence. His studies in three-dimensional design at Manchester Polytechnic and later at the Royal College of Art in London led him to experiment with different materials, testing their uses and how they could be crafted to discover unexpected outcomes. It is a practice that has been embedded within the studio, which continues to have a workshop at its heart. Even as a student, Heatherwick pursued projects of a more ambitious scale than his contemporaries. In his final year in Manchester, he designed a small pavilion, secured sponsorship and a site, and enlisted the help of students and tutors to build it.