Wearing a courageous pair of pistachio green trousers he wowed and swooned a rain-soaked audience of a thousand people, most of who were not from the design industry. I have to confess to being a little star-struck myself although bridled at waiting in the hour-long, mostly female, queue that formed for him to sign copies of his book.
He talked about his student years, The Seed Cathedral, B Of The Bang and the Routemaster Bus. For the last of these he received a spontaneous and rapturous round of applause from the audience.
It’s been over 20 years since Channel 4 did ‘Better By Design’ with Richard Seymour and Dick Powell. Given Heatherwick’s obvious crowd appeal, the fact that he’s a global British success story and that his studio occupies a genuinely fascinating space (somewhere between design, architecture, art and municipal wellbeing) perhaps its time for a new TV series to champion design to the British public fronted by him?
If you missed Heatherwick at Hay Festival, then go and see his Designing The Extraordinary exhibition at the V&A.