‘Who are we designing for?’ Thomas Heatherwick wonders why buildings have become so boring

Thomas Heatherwick 6

In this exclusive interview, the Heatherwick Studio founder outlines the philosophy behind his new campaign to put the soul back into building design. Photography by Tom Campbell

“If you think of buildings as either givers or takers… to me, that’s a taker.” 

Thomas Heatherwick is pointing at a rather drab-looking 1980s office block near King’s Cross station. “That’s not a giver, is it?”

The plan for Building Design’s interview with the Heatherwick Studio founder is to take a short walk through King’s Cross to the firm’s new office while he points out buildings on the street which he considers boring. His team has issued strict guidance that we attempt to usher Heatherwick back to the office as quickly as possible to stop him from getting “distracted”. The walk will take around three minutes, according to Google Maps.

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