Neil Hubbard – Heatherwick Studio

On Friday we had the privilege to listen to Neil Hubbard from Heatherwick Studio discuss the projects his company has completed or is currently undertaking. He also spoke about his background and how he got to where he is today. The Company is based in King’s Cross, London and is a made up from a team of 200 Architects, Designers and Makers. He definitely has a clear passion for what he does within the company, from designing outstanding architectural buildings to designing the Olympic Cauldron in 2012.

“Create the problems and then solve them”

throughout his talk he gave us many key points to consider whilst working for any company, as well as discussing his most popular projects. I found the talk to be very inspiring and made me consider the amount of work and research that is put into the different projects.

The project that stood out to me most was the Bombay Sapphire Distillery, based in Laverstoke. The Company was given the task of creating a new distillery in the South of England, they found it challenging as many of the local people were concerned about keeping the building’s heritage. The company wanted to use the project to show how the distillery process worked, so they came up with the idea of developing two glasshouses attached to the building, one of them would be tropical and the other Mediterranean. The heat from the distillery would be then used to create the hot conditions within the glasshouses. I found the design process to be very interesting, he showed us a variety of different styles of how they wanted the glasshouses to look before finding the one that suited it perfectly. The site also straddled  the River Test, so they made plans so that the new glasshouses would be placed in the river.

“The brief is all the inspiration you need”

After hearing about the design process for  this project it made me think about how much detail the company takes into consideration whilst designing different things and how they adapt the brief slightly to make it more interactive, exciting and unforgettable.

Another project that really stood out to me was the copper cauldron used in the 2012 Olympics. They had looked at all the cauldrons created in the previous years and none of them really stood out, it was more about how it was going to be lit up. So the Company wanted to create something bigger and better that people would remember for years to come. They  needed to create something that would represent all countries coming together in unity. They decided to create copper petals, each engraved with the name of the country it represented and the petals would all be lit up individually and  rise until all of the petals are brought to the centre.

Detail was definitely one of the main things used to create the cauldron, all the pieces were considered and used to represent, making this piece unforgettable and outstanding. Therefore I have learnt the importance of knowing what and who you’re creating for and how important it is to create something unforgettable so that you can guarantee that people will remember you!


  • Read the brief OVER AND OVER AGAIN!
  • Find new from the old
  • Set up the problem and find the solution
  • Know your context
  • Make it real
  • The importance of making is to find the idea!

I really enjoyed listening to Hubbard’s talk and really inspired me to think that anything is possible when you put your mind to it. Heatherwick Studios have created so many incredible projects, some that you might think are impossible. I have learnt that if you share your ideas, no matter how big or small and work effectively with others then there is no limit to what you can create!



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