Learning From The Master #18 Norman Foster

Hi , Restless Spirits!
We had a ‘Learning from Master’ session on Norman Foster. He started his career as a clerk in Manchester before going to Yale University to learn architecture. Norman Foster had a tough journey before he turned successful as an architect.
Norman Foster’s Design Philosophy:

  1. Integration. It comprises of structure, service, space, social, and setting. Foster develops new structure system with high efficiency values. We can find the efficiency of the structure in Stansted Airport, which uses lower cost modular structure.
  2. Man Over Nature, the symbol of human strength. The representative projects include Hongkong Airport whose site is a flattened mountain; Milau Viaduct, a bridge in the cloud; and Lunar Habitation, the imaginary residential in the moon.
  3. Light. In many of his designs Foster always tries to use natural light to the buildings. One the most interesting projects is the Reichstag new German Parliament with its transparent dome design letting light in.
  4. Re-inventing Technology. Foster encourages people to be pioneers of technology.
    “…If you have enough interest to the production process, you soon discover that you can design your own curtain wall, your own ceiling… If you come up with a good design, the likelihood is that your product will appear in someone else’s catalogue”
  5. Re-inventing Typology. It is about giving value to tall buildings or relation of old building and the new one. In some projects, Foster also tries bringing back the typology of airport in which visitors can see planes flying by when they arrive at the airport drop off.
    In his career life, Foster is influenced by some people who collaborated with him. The first one is, Rudolph, who influenced Foster not only in architecture but also about his look and behavior. Next was Rogers. Rogers is Foster’s first partner. They have different approaches. Rogers is likely a person of expression, while Foster is more about integration. Another one is Fuller. Both Foster and Fuller are big fans of technology. Fuller has a great wild idea while Foster is always willing to make it come true.
    Nowadays, in his office — Norman Foster and Partners, Foster are applying an interesting system to keep the information well distributed. Because of the high numbers of project needed to be handled, Foster has to “duplicate” himself. He did it by teaching personal skills and knowledge to his staffs to make sure that everything will continue on even without his presence.
    From the lecture we can learn to keep being creative in order to invent something new. Developing a new design is not only about different appearances but much more about continual better values.
    See you on our next events! Let’s learn and be inspired!