Architect Norman Foster: “We have power. And we should use it.” | Louisiana Channel

Meet one of the icons of our time, Norman Foster, who reflects on the vital role of architects and designers in our world and the challenges it faces.

“Cities are the generators of wealth, of innovation, of prosperity, of all the good things in life.” Foster emphasises the multiple connections and interdependencies between humans and our nature as social animals. “The city is really two elements. It’s the individual buildings. But it’s also the infrastructure – the connections, the public spaces, the bridges, the subways, the portals, the harbours, the airports. The infrastructure is the urban glue that binds the individual buildings together. And the design professions are totally integrated into that mix of buildings and infrastructure. So, in this sense, we hold the key to the future.”

Norman Robert Foster (b. 1935) is an English architect and designer considered one of his generation’s most prolific architects. He is the founder and executive chairman of Foster + Partners (1967), the global studio for architecture, urbanism and design responsible for renowned buildings such as the Great Court British Museum and Millennium Bridge (London), Reichstag (Berlin), Millau Viaduct (France), Hearst Tower (New York), Hong Kong International Airport (Beijing), Capital International Airport and Apple Park (California). Foster has received numerous awards, such as the Pritzker-prize in 1999 (often referred to as the Nobel Prize of Architecture), the RIBA Royal Gold Medal, the AIA Gold Medal, the RIBA Stirling Prize in 1998, 2004 and 2017, as well as the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2007. He was knighted in 1990, and in 1999, he created a life peer as Lord Foster of Thames Bank. He is president of the Norman Foster Foundation, based in Madrid, with a global reach. He promotes interdisciplinary thinking and research to help new generations of architects, designers, and urbanists anticipate the future.

Norman Foster was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner on the occasion of the 18th International Architecture Exhibition (The Biennale Architettura 2023) in Venice, Italy. The interview took place in May 2023.

Camera: Simon Weyhe
Editing: Jarl Therkelsen Kaldan
Produced by: Marc-Christoph Wagner
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2023

Louisiana Channel is supported by Den A.P. Møllerske Støttefond, Ny Carlsbergfondet and C.L. Davids Fond og Samling. This film is supported by Dreyersfond and Fritz Hansen.

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