In this manifesto for change, one of the world’s pre-eminent designers explores how buildings and cities around the world lost their soul – and what we can do about it. Thomas Heatherwick shows how design has a profound effect on our mental and physical health, the climate, as well as the peace and cohesion of societies. He shows how a flawed idea of utility and ‘efficiency’ has engulfed our towns and cities and hardened into a form of bland minimalism. But it doesn’t have to be this way: there are other ways to build – with the power to lift our spirits, engage and connect us. Heatherwick draws on his own work, the ideas of other experts in the field, and recent advances in neuroscience and cognitive psychology to offer both a case against the inhumanity of modernist design and a rallying cry to everyone to imagine the world anew.

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ISBN: 9780241389799 Category: Tag:


From one of the world’s most imaginative designers comes a story about humanity told through the lens of our buildings.

‘This book is a super-accessible guide as to why we shouldn’t put up with soulless buildings and how we might change that’ GRAYSON PERRY


Our world is losing its humanity.

Too many developers care more about their shareholders than society. Too many politicians care more about power than the people who vote for them. And too many cities feel soulless and depressing, with buildings designed for business, not for us.

So where do we find hope?

Thomas Heatherwick has an alternative. By changing the world around us, we can improve our health, restore our happiness, and save our planet. The time has come to put human emotion back at the heart of the design process. Drawing on thirty years of making bold, beautiful buildings, neuroscience and cognitive psychology, Heatherwick brings together vivid stories and hundreds of beautiful images into a visual masterpiece. Humanise will inspire us to do nothing less than remake our world.


‘Thomas Heatherwick brings a velvet sledgehammer to the way we think about buildings and how they change our lives . . . I want to live in the kind of city Heatherwick imagines!’ SIMON SINEK

Humanise is a masterwork. It’s quietly furious, impassioned, rigorous and forensic in all the right doses. It leaves me very hopeful indeed about how things could go from here’ ALAIN DE BOTTON

Additional information

Weight540 g
Dimensions19813046 mm