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Thomas Heatherwick: the man who designed the Olympic cauldron

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Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Thomas Heatherwick: the man who designed the Olympic cauldron” was written by Alex Needham, for guardian.co.uk on Monday 30th July 2012 13.16 UTC

Since his emergence in the late 1990s, the work of designer Thomas Heatherwick has been hugely acclaimed. He was called "the Leonardo da Vinci of our times" by his mentor and fellow designer Terence Conran.

However, it is Heatherwick’s design for the Olympic cauldron that has made him a household name. When the cauldron, codenamed Betty, was lit by seven young athletes, and its 204 copper "petals" rose to create one huge flame, it caused jaws to drop around the world.

Heatherwick revealed that his cauldron was made in Yorkshire in what he described as "the most sophisticated shed in Harrogate … like the Bond gadget workshop".

Though the secrecy surrounding it was so complete that the young athletes lighting it didn’t even tell their parents, the design was cheekily hidden in plain sight on wallets for the tickets to the opening ceremony.

Here, Oliver Wainwright of Building Design compares Heatherwick’s Olympic torch to its predecessors.

Reading this on a mobile? Click here to view

Heatherwick’s work is currently the subject of a retrospective at the V&A in London. He took the Guardian’s Steve Rose on a tour of it in May. Read Rowan Moore’s review of it here.

Nicholas Wroe interviewed Heatherwick about his career just before the show opened in May. We also made a gallery of his studio’s most famous designs.

In February, Heatherwick’s redesign of the London bus was revealed to acclaim, though only eight of them are currently on the roads.

His design for the UK pavilion at the Shanghai Expo in 2010 won the gold medal and ended up on the cover of the last album by cerebral dance act Junior Boys.

Before the Olympics, Heatherwick’s involvements with sport had been less happy. B of the Bang, his sculpture to commemorate the 2002 Commonwealth games, had to be dismantled after fears that its spikes – one of which fell off – could present a danger to passers-by.

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WOW ! Seminar Programme at 100% Design

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100% Designed announced last week an amazing line up for their Seminar programme including:
Yves Behar, Stephen Haggarty (Hunt Haggarty), Vicky Richardson, Michael Young, Matt Hunter (Design Council) , Chris Sanderson (LS:N Global), Dan Hopwood (BIID), Christine Murray (Architects Journal), Simon Woodroffe (YO! home), Marcus Fairs (Dezeen) and more…

More Details Here: www.100percentdesign.co.uk/

V&A to open new Furniture Gallery.

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Model 4801, Chair, Joe Cesare Colombo (Designer), Kartell (Manufacturer), 1967-70. Museum no. CIRC. 214-1970
The Victoria & Albert Museum is set to open a new furniture gallery in December, with interior and exhibition design by Nord Architecture and interactive design by Allofus and the V&A’s in-house team. The gallery will feature interactive display tables as well as touch-screen digital labelling for objects on display.
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Forethought Season at KXFS Opens Tomorrow

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Tomorrow The “Vauxhall Ampera Season”, the first programme of cultural activity at the newly unveiled King’s Cross Filling Station (KXFS), London’s latest landmark is launched. The six-month programme will explore emerging ideas within modern culture, encompassing popular science, future technology and new thinking through a series of five projects and commissions.

The season begins with the Forethought Series, 10th – 12th July. Running over three evenings, three very different partners each present a night of thought and ideas, exploring how technology and science are changing our lives.

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Casper Mueller Kneer presents Kai Schiemenz / Islands of Swarm

PayneShurvell presents an exciting collaboration between Berlin-based artist Kai Schiemenz who produces walk-in sculptures or ‘containers’ which invite the viewer in, and the architects of the White Cube Bermondsey, Casper Mueller Kneer, based in London and Berlin.

Architectures aren’t containers for human needs – but needs and humanities are being generated by architecture. Buildings aren’t neutral boxes for communities, but communities are being formed and governed by them.”
Kai Schiemenz

In a timely exhibition, Kai Schiemenz and Casper Mueller Kneer examine the role of stadiums, auditoriums and associated architectures – historic, contemporary and imagined buildings, all of which organise crowds in circular ways.
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HOME a public art work for Peckham by Julia Vogl

27th July to August 12th PECKHAM SQUARE Open daily 11am-7pm

Julia Vogl In partnership with Southwark Council, Peckham Settlement, Peckham Space and Resonance FM. Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

As a society we are less fixed on living in one place. HOME is a large scale public art work, audio and visual, reflecting Peckham residents’ ideas of why this city is home. The outcome will be a community built multicoloured brick like public living room. Community interviews will become mp3 tracks embedded in the structure so the public can hear different concepts of home (on headphones). The colour code will reflect the time interviewees have lived in Peckham.
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Monorex present: Secret Walls Pro Series at New Designers Tomorrow

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Graffiti artists, graphic designers and illustrators wage a black and white war at New Designers at a high energy, up-beat and spontaneously creative late night event on Thursday 5 July at the Business Design Centre, London N1. Secret Walls Pro Series, presented by creative agency Monorex, comes to London’s most exciting graduate design exhibition to pitch pen against paint, art against artifice, graphics against graffiti.

Debut Arts, one of the most prolific creative agencies in the industry, will battle it out against graduate designers representing the cream of the crop of the college and university graduate exhibitors. In front of a large and vocal crowd of critics and two guest judges, the artists have just 90 minutes to create an artwork on the battle wall – the winner determined by decibel reader.

The atmosphere is Electric, Garage and House, thanks to some top DJs. Ink and drink will be flowing! ‘This special Secret Walls Pro Series event gives new artists a chance to collaborate and for the visitors to see something different,’ says Andrew Kelly of Monorex. ‘Our aim is to create awareness for the hugely talented designers who are launching their careers at New Designers so that the audience sees something completely different that hasn’t been done before at the show – indeed at any show. It’s going to be a great talent spotting platform and it’s a different medium for promotion.’

Thursday 5th July Business Design Centre, Islington, London N1 Time: 6.30pm
Entrance: £14 on the door or £9.50 + £1.50 in advance.
Box office and booking line: www.newdesigners.com 08448 480140

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Something For The Weekend: Everything Flows a Moving Image Show at De La Warrant Pavillion Bexhill on Sea.

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Dryden Goodwin Poised

30th June – 16th September 2012

EVERYTHING FLOWS The art of getting in the zone De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill On Sea, East Sussex, UK Admission free

To coincide with the London 2012 Olympic Games, Film and Video Umbrella and De La Warr Pavilion present four newly commissioned moving image artworks on the theme of sporting excellence. Working in collaboration with top athletes and scientists, internationally acclaimed artists Dryden Goodwin, susan pui san lok, Roderick Buchanan and Matthew Cornford and David Cross all consider the state of being ‘in the zone’ – the way in which athletes achieve a heightened sense of performance in which body and mind are operating in unison, at maximum impact and with optimum ‘flow’. Everything Flows: The art of getting in the zone opens at the De La Warr Pavilion on 30 June 2012 and admission is free.
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New Designers 2012 opening today Wednesday 27th June 2012

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Felix Mc Cormack Spago Lamp2 from One year On.

Part 1: 27 to 30 June | Part 2: 4 to 7 July Business Design Centre, Islington, N1
?www.newdesigners.com

The cream of the crop of this year’s design graduates unveil their remarkable talent at the New Designers show at the BDC. The exciting presentation is a two part event introducing the very latest ideas and emerging trends across a host of design disciplines. Part 1 displays contemporary applied art – ceramics and glass, jewellery and metal work alongside directional textiles, fashions and home accessories. Fresh ideas for furniture and spatial design, including interiors and architecture, are juxtaposed beside innovative product design in Part 2. Strong visual communication incorporates graphic design, illustration and multimedia.

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Artangel and Living Architecture Present A Room For London Part of the London Festival of Architecture

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5 July 2012 at The Hub Kings Cross, 34B York Way, London, N1 9AB 18.30 – 20.30 FREE
A free talk with architect David Kohn, Chairman of Living Architecture, Dickon Robinson, and Artangel Co-Director, Michael Morris about A Room for London.

Perched on the roof of Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall throughout 2012, A Room for London is a one-bedroom installation bringing together architecture, art, writing, music and ideas. A space for rest, thought, reflection and play, it marks a major collaboration between Living Architecture, Artangel, Southbank Centre, the architect David Kohn and artist Fiona Banner.
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E20 12 UNDER CONSTRUCTION Opens Today part of The London Festival of Architecture

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June 26th to July 8th 2012
The Crossing, The Granary Building, 1 Granary Square, King’s Cross, N1C 4AA
A visual exploration of the Olympic development by Giles Price

‘E20 12: UNDER-CONSTRUCTION’ – a stunning visual essay by British photographer Giles Price will be exhibited as part of this year’s London Festival of Architecture, featuring within the festival’s King’s Cross Hub Showcase. Taken over two years in the run up to London 2012 – and the only set of photographs to document the development’s progress in this way – the essay sees Price combine a series of exclusive, large-format and minutely detailed, aerial images of the Olympic Park, with arresting portraits of its workforce.
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Emerging Brands at 100% Design: Julio Thomas #4

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This year 100% Design is strengthening its commitment to international young designers by creating a dedicated area called Emerging Brands at this year’s event.

To highlight this great support to emerging designers over the next few weeks we will be interviewing five of the designers chosen to exhibit at Emerging Brands at 100% Design 2012.

#4: Julio Thomas

What made you want to become a designer in the first place?
Insatiable curiosity compounded by obsessive attention to detail.

Where and what did you study?
I studied architecture. I got my degree from the Mackintosh school of architecture in Glasgow and my masters from Brighton University.

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The AF’s Project Space becomes a walk-in comic strip for Summer 2012

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Jiminez Lai

For his first solo exhibition outside of North America, Chicago-based Canadian architect Jimenez Lai’s Bureau Spectacular will transform the AF’s Project Space with an inhabitable installation and a graphic sequence of imaginary worlds, through the studio’s trademark mixture of built structure and cartoon.

Combining a wall painting, a specially commissioned graphic novel, and a three-part modular ‘home,’ the installation will present slices of life from inside Lai’s Cartoonish Metropolis. The three reconfigurable ‘rooms’ will explore the contemporary performance of living in public, by suggesting themselves as real-world frames from a comic strip. The rooms can face the street as a stage, or cluster together as a home, and will play out the relationship between spectacle and spectator in architecture and performance art, merging Hugh Hefner’s exhibitionism with Joseph Beuys’s conception of art as life, to explore the plural fantasies and realities that architecture can provoke and frame.
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Mesa & Cadeira presents: Anthony Burril Less is More at Kemistry Gallery Private view 5th July 2012

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5th July — 28th July 2012

Anthony Burril – Mesa & Cadeira How to say the most with the least
(Quanto mais olho para tras,mais milagres eu vejo)

In March this year, British graphic artist Anthony Burrill was invited to lead a six day workshop in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Organized by Mesa&Cadeira, the course was attended by 12 local designers, writers and art directors and focused on how to say the most with the least, an equation Anthony has mastered during his 20 year career working across a range of media, for clients like Wallpaper, London Underground, Colette in Paris, among others.

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Emerging Brands at 100% Design: Plant and Moss #3

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This year 100% Design is strengthening its commitment to international young designers by creating a dedicated area called Emerging Brands at this year’s event.

To highlight this great support to emerging designers over the next few weeks we will be interviewing five of the designers chosen to exhibit at Emerging Brands at 100% Design 2012.

#3: Plant and Moss

What made you want to become a designer in the first place?

JP (James Plant) – I always enjoyed taking things apart and being curious how they worked. So naturally to make things was always going to be of an interest. I guess I started playing in the garage as a child and my interests were often around things I could fix or make better.

JM (James Moss) – I have an analytical mind, am very observant and like to design rational and well detailed products. When studying on a foundation course before uni I was naturally drawn towards chair and furniture design and this led me to choosing a furniture and product design course where my skills could best be utilised and developed.

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