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London Design Medal: Thomas Heatherwick


Thomas Heatherwick was awarded 2010's London Design Medal for his contribution to the field and to the design of the city. The London Design Medal is awarded to an individual who has distinguished themselves within the industry and demonstrated consistent design excellence.

Thomas Heatherwick is a London-born designer known for innovative use of engineering and materials in public monuments and sculptures. He has completed nearly 200 projects since establishing his studio in the mid-nineties.

Heatherwick was born in London on 17 February 1970. He studied three-dimensional design at Manchester Polytechnic and at the Royal College of Art. Whilst Heatherwick was at the RCA he met designer Terence Conran. Conran became a mentor to Heatherwick after seeing his plan for a gazebo made of two 6-metre high curved stacks of birch plywood and made its construction possible by inviting Heatherwick to work at his country home.

After graduating from the RCA, Heatherwick founded Heatherwick Studio in 1994 and the firm is now a multi-award winning British design and architecture studio which looks at buildings, spaces, master-plans, objects, and infrastructure.

Heatherwick has been involved in the design of many projects, including the Olympic Cauldron, the New Routemaster bus, and the UK pavilion at Expo 2010. Other notable projects include the renovation of Pacific Place, the cancelled Garden Bridge and a proposed plan for a biomass power station in BEI-Teesside.