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Thomas Heatherwick to give prestigious lecture

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Internationally-renowned designer Thomas Heatherwick will speak at the sold-out annual Royal Institute of British Architects(RIBA) Lecture in London next week (Tuesday 8 November).

And this year, following the success of the Forgotten Spaces 2011: Sheffield architectural ideas competition, Sheffield Hallam University is joining forces with the RIBA to host the lecture.

Thomas, one of the world's most revered young architectural designers,will talk about the boundaries between design and architecture and pose the question 'when does design become architecture?'

The annual lecture gives an 'eminent non-architect' the opportunity to explore a theme that challenges the architecture profession and stimulates wider debate.

Thomas gained universal fame for the 'seed head' British pavilion at the Shanghai Expo last year, which won the 2010 RIBA Lubetkin Prize for architecture.

He is an honorary fellow of the RIBA, senior fellow of the Royal College of Art and an honorary doctor of Sheffield Hallam University. The Heatherwick Studio, established in 1994, is a multi-disciplinary operation, with team members coming from architecture, product design, model-making, landscape design and fine art backgrounds. 

Earlier this year, it was announced that the Studio had been appointed to work on the design of the Olympic cauldron at the London 2012 games.

Sheffield Hallam recently worked with the RIBA Yorkshire to deliver the Forgotten Spaces 2011: Sheffield competition, which encouraged architects, designers and artists to come up with innovative ideas that found new uses for the city's 'forgotten spaces'. And this event marks another opportunity for the two organisations to work together.

The Forgotten Spaces 2011: Sheffield competition was sponsored by developers British Land, Creative Sheffield, Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and engineers Buro Happold. The initiative was based on a highly successful concept developed by RIBA London in 2010, and was run in Sheffield due to the city's successful architectural regeneration over the past few years.

John Palmer, director of communications and public affairs, said: "I am delighted to once again be joining forces with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) to deliver this sold-out lecture with Thomas Heatherwick, a designer whose work I greatly admire.

"The University has an excellent reputation for architecture, planning and design and to be involved in such a prestigious event strengthens our links with key figures at the forefront of architecture and design in the UK."

The RIBA Lecture 2011 with Thomas Heatherwick takes place on Tuesday 8 November at RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London W1B 1AD.

The event is sold-out but for press tickets please contact Beatrice Cooke at the RIBA on or 020 7307 3813.

For press information: contact Tess Humphrys at Sheffield Hallam University on 0114 225 4025 or email