As London Design Festival approaches, Icon goes behind the scenes to visit the factories where glossy products are prototyped and manufactured. In this issue we travelled all over Europe to see the places and meet the people responsible for these complicated and fascinating processes.
Heatherwick Studio has revived the spirit of this striking 1960s church in Kent with small but vital changes to its incomplete interior.
Trailblazing Danish practice BIG is building a ski park on top of a waste-to-energy plant in Copenhagen – and the incinerator blows laser-lit smoke rings.
Thomas Heatherwick will be hosting an evening talk at the Victoria and Albert Museum on Friday 11 May and 100 tickets have been reserved exclusively for Icon readers.
The Spun chair was shown by Magis during the Milan furniture fair, but it started life as a limited edition piece at the Haunch of Venison gallery in London.
In a woodland clearing in Aberystwyth in northern Wales, Heatherwick Studio has built eight timber-frame artists bungalows clad in mangled steel as a new addition to the Aberystwyth Art Centre.
There is a new breed of client who collects architecture like stamps. In Mongolia, Taiwan, South Africa and Brazil, private developers are commissioning big names and hot young practices by the dozen to build huge, diverse developments.
The Piggyback Table by Thomas Heatherwick was nominated for the Design Museum’s Designs of the Year prize before it was even finished – the London museum’s director, Deyan Sudjic, saw it as a prototype last year.
Thomas Heatherwick has designed a seaside cafe in Littlehampton on the south-east coast of England. "I wanted the building to look like a thing of unknown origin, washed up on the shore," says the British designer of his East Beach Cafe.
The intersection of mundanity, necessity and the sublime is showcased in the Thomas Heatherwick Conran Collection at the Design Museum.
Thomas Heatherwick is playing with a yellow plastic tooth-flossing device. He picked it up at Boots, and he uses it every day. "Flossing is a nightmare of jamming your fingers in your mouth," he says. "Your fingertips go blue. But you only need one hand to use this."