“I’m not confident enough to know what to throw away and what to keep. I’m not a good ‘thrower awayer.’ I’d hate to regret not having kept something,” says Thomas Heatherwick, gesturing around his studio. “At least if you hang on to things, you can hopefully find that you kept the right bit.” We are sat at the heart of his King’s Cross office in North London. There’s an air of intense industry around us and the studio is engaged on an astonishing number of projects the world over. But today we aren’t here to discuss what the future holds, it’s what lies, quite literally, beneath us. On the floor below where we are sat is an archive of the studio’s work that comprises models, maquettes and ephemera that tell remarkable stories of invention, innovation and happy accidents. “I suppose I don’t think of it as an archive, I think of it as not throwing things away,” he explains. “That’s a big not throwing things away space. We do endeavour to try and make special things and if you are trying to do that, then the process would matter too. It amazes me how many people throw things away. Whether that is a deliberate rejection of anything that isn’t current, or it’s laziness, or a clever focusing of energy and resource, I don’t know.”
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