Foster + Partners showcases industrial design history

Craft + Manufacture, Industrial Design at The Aram Gallery shows how industrial design work is intrinsically linked to the architectural work of the practice



A new exhibition has opened showcasing the industrial design work of architect Foster + Partners over five decades.

Hosted by The Aram Gallery the exhibition sets out to show the collaborative nature of graphic designers, industrial designers and model makers, as well as architects.

Individuals who led industrial design teams are celebrated. The work of Arek Wozinak in the 1980s is spotlighted, as well as that of John Small who worked with the practice from 1985 until 2010 and Mike Holland who leads a team of 14 designers today.

“Innovation and collaboration”

The exhibition looks to tell a story of “innovation and collaboration” and show how the practice’s work looks to make a seamless connection between structure and form.

One of the stories told is how this philosophy is imbued in drafting tables designed by the practice for its Great Portland Street, London offices in 1981.

These eventually evolved into the Nomos range of desk solutions manufactured by Tecno.

Visitors can also see Teso and Arc tables developed in partnership with Molteni & C, the Walter Knoll Foster 520 series of seating, and the latest Hadrian and Hadriana marble tables designed by Norman Foster for Citco.

New launch

The exhibition has been used to launch the practice’s newest light fixtures – DOT and EVA for Lumina.

There is also a chance to see the contribution the industrial design team has made to architectural projects such as Cathay Pacific lounge seating at Hong Kong Airport and the bespoke furniture designed for the new Maggie’s Cancer Centre in Manchester.

“Emphasis on people”

Foster + Partners head of design David Nelson says: “Over almost 50 years, the working methodologies of the practice have continuously evolved and have become ever more diverse.

“Although the mainstream activity of the design of cities, buildings and products remains at the core of everything we do, the challenge today is to bring forward increasingly more specialised knowledge and skills in engineering, geometry and mathematics – all with a particular emphasis on people and how they live, work and play. Industrial design for us is a critical focus in this regard.”

Craft + Manufacture, Industrial Design by Foster + Partners is on at The Aram Gallery, 110 Drury Lane, Covent Garden, WC2B 5SG and runs until 31 May 2016.

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