Exclusive extract

‘Let’s end the blandemic and rehumanise the world’

In the final part of our serial of his game-changing new book, Thomas Heatherwick argues that if we all do our ‘bit’, and refuse to allow our world and the world of our children to be smothered by cheap, deadening buildings, we can truly transform where and how we live

Friday 13 October 2023 09:24 BST
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Heatherwick Studio, a building designed by The Hive, at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore
Heatherwick Studio, a building designed by The Hive, at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore (Hufton & Crow)

Whenever I talk to people about humanising buildings, the same points tend to come up. Some wonder if the only way to achieve what we want is to go back to the past. Others worry it means smothering buildings in decorations, like Christmas trees. But most commonly they’re convinced the mission is not realistically possible with modern materials or budgets.

Here in Britain, you sometimes hear it said that the public doesn’t like anything new – that, if it was left up to them, they’d reject anything modern and just want the world filled with Georgian-style houses and Tower Bridges. But these assumptions underestimate the diversity of people’s interests and tastes. But actually, the top 10 most-loved buildings in the world include Burj Khalifa, Hallgrímskirkja and The Shard.

Burj Khalifa in Dubai is currently the world’s tallest building
Burj Khalifa in Dubai is currently the world’s tallest building (Alamy)

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