Thomas Heatherwick wins lifetime achievement prize at Disruptive Innovation Awards
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Thomas Heatherwick wins lifetime achievement prize at Disruptive Innovation Awards

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British designer Thomas Heatherwick will be presented with a lifetime achievement prize at the 2016 Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards on 22 April.

The founder and design director of Heatherwick Studio – which has undertaken diverse projects including the cauldron for the 2012 London Olympics and a Bombay Sapphire gin distillery in Hampshire, UK, and has designed the highly controversial Garden Bridge in London – is being recognised for his “ingenuity, inventiveness and originality”.

The Disruptive Innovation Awards are an offshoot of the annual Tribeca Film Festival, co-founded by Robert DeNiro, and celebrate influential innovators in sports, education, media, design, philanthropy, economics, health care, civic engagement and social justice.

Previous winners have included film director David Lynch, musician Kanye West, Airbnb co-founder Brian Chesky and Kickstarter creators Perry Chen and Yancey Strickler.

Honourees – who receive a red hammer as the official Disruptor Award – are chosen for building new business models “and smashing broken ones”, in areas “desperately in need of innovation to help solve intractable problems.”

A citation explaining the choice of Heatherwick said: “Thomas defies the conventional classification of design disciplines. He founded Heatherwick Studio in 1994 to bring the practices of design, architecture, sculpture and urban planning together in a single workspace.

“Thomas’ unusual approach challenges every brief from first principles, to produce unique solutions for each project’s needs. In applying artistic thinking to the needs of modern cities, the team is engaged in creating some of the most acclaimed and memorable projects of our time.”

Other individuals awarded accolades this year include American actor and director Nate Parker and Kenyan conservationist and politician Richard Leakey, who is also being presented a lifetime achievement award. The awards ceremony will be held at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center in Lower Manhattan, New York.

"This year's honourees are a diverse group whose achievements lead by example uniting communities that are offering new solutions to some of society’s most challenging issues," said Craig Hatkoff, chief curator of the awards. "Disruptors represent a new kind of billionaire: innovators who have the potential to help a billion people."

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British designer Thomas Heatherwick will be presented with a lifetime achievement prize at the 2016 Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards on 22 April.
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