The 2012 Olympic ceremony got underway this evening and as the grand finally took centre stage, a most magnificent sculpture was revealed. Thomas Heatherwick one of Britain’s most prominent designers created the official caldron. It was lit by young athletes, who were passed the torch by the older generation of Olympic medalists.
Thomas Heatherwick was born in London in 1970. He studied three dimensional design at Manchester Polytechnic and at the Royal College of Art, winning several prizes. Shortly after graduating from the Royal College of Art and after a two-year furniture MA course in 1994, he was commissioned by Harvey Nichols department store in Knightsbridge to design a temporary structure for the shop’s facade. His design was a ribbon of laminated wood that wound through the storefront windows. The design was widely acclaimed and won him a D&AD yellow pencil (the gold award) in 1997.
Ten years on, the studio comprises a fifteen-strong team which includes architects, landscape architects, product designers and engineers. Work is carried out from a combined studio and workshop in Kings Cross where concept development, prototyping and fabrication take place under a single roof. The studio’s work spans commercial and residential building projects, masterplanning and infrastructure schemes as well as high profile works of public art. Thomas is a Senior Fellow and external examiner at the Royal College of Art and was recently chosen to become a Royal Designer for Industry. He has served on numerous judging and advisory panels and has given lectures, tutorials and talks at the Bartlett School of Architecture, the South Africa Design Indaba and the Royal Institution.