Bought this in 2012 after going to the exhibition at the V&A. I think I’m right in saying this was the most visited free exhibition the V&A have ever put on. I took the GDS design team. As we were starting GDS we inspired by the great British designers and I would include Heatherwick in that group. I’m a huge fan.
Although I don’t like the Garden Bridge, I think it’s the wrong bridge in the wrong place.
This book is pretty straightforward. Four page intro and than straight into the work. All killer, no filler. It feels like it’s every project Heatherwick has ever done.
There are all the classics, the cauldron, the rolling bridge, the zip bag, the thing in Conran’s garden. The window thing outside Harvey Nics - anyone remember that? Driving past that in 1997 first alerted* me to Heatherwick. It was so unexpected on Kensington High St, and so striking for a retailer. I thought it was his first project out of college (I don’t think it was) and I remember being impressed that it won a Black Pencil. More here.
The book’s nicely laid out, bigger projects get more text and more sketches. It conveys the depth of his output - it’s staggering. Big photos which are always good. But very heavy. Like all these design books you couldn't carry it around on the Tube.
A nice touch is the inclusion of things you never see like, the company Christmas cards which are obviously ace.
One small criticism - towards the end of the book it’s hard to tell which projects are ideas and which actually went ahead. It’s nice to have ideas in there, but it would be better if they were clearly marked as such. Feels like trickery to include the "Colindale Tower" and then not mention that was only a proposal. This tower doesn't really exist in Colindale.
Here's the obligatory video.
A great book though, by a great designer. Buy it before everyone only remembers the bus and the bridge. You can buy Thomas Heatherwick: Making from Amazon.
Part of a series; Reviews of books I’ll never read.
*say that like George Harrison says it in While My Guitar Gently Weeps.