Designing The Extraordinary: Thomas Haetherwick At The V&A

Edited by: Eugenia GottiArchitecture Department Editor –

Where : London, Victoria and Albert museum

Exhibition: Haetherwick Studio: Designing The Extraordinary

The V&A presents the first major solo exhibition exploring the British architect Haetherwick (31 May- 30 Sept 2012).On display are over 150 objects, from an original seed-tipped rod from the UK Pavilion Seed Cathedral at Shanghai World Expo(2010) to a full scale mock-up of the rear end of the new London double-decker bus (2012) and the Cauldron of London Olympics 2012.

The UK pavilion at Expo 2010, colloquially known as the Seed Cathedral, was a sculpture structure built by a nine member conglomeration of British business and government resources directed by designer Thomas Heatherwick. It referenced the race to save seeds from round the world in banks, and housed 60,000 plant seeds at the end of acrylic rods, held in place by geometrically-cut holes with the rods inserted therein.



The cauldron comprises 204 copper petals that were carried into the stadium by competing teams and assembled on radiating poles, before bring raised in concentric waves to meet as one flame. The objects are structured in a series of conceptual clusters illustrating the interrelation of ideas throughout the studio’s work, whilst giving a sense of walking through the Heatherwick workshop and archive.

Martin Roth, Director of the V&A, said: “We are delighted to be showing the first solo exhibition of the work of Thomas Heatherwick and his studio. He is an extremely exciting and forward thinking contemporary designer whose work spans a fascinating breadth of disciplines. He is constantly challenging us with his ideas and pushing boundaries in art and design.”

The V&A have also invited Heatherwick Studio to design a canopy over the front steps of the Museum as a way of signalling to the public the presence of the exhibition and welcoming visitors to the V&A during the British Design Season.



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