18 Jun, 2024, 17:00
Holcim Auditorium, HCU

Public lecture series
  • Prof. Neil Thomas (Atelier One)

    Two worlds: The world of modern technology and the natural world

  • Image © Clara Mross.


    How to negotiate the data-driven world and nature itself.

    Climate change is dramatically changing the world, and the construction industry must make a paradigm shift to counteract this.

    The first of two worlds describes the old world we once inhabited, of extreme excess without real knowledge, and with only a limited understanding of the impact of this excess.

    The second, a different approach to building, reduces this catastrophic effect and creates a better, more sustainable world for everyone, with you – the architects and engineers of the future – leading the way. 

    About the lecturer

    Neil Thomas is the founder and director of Atelier One, which has been described as ‘the most innovative Engineering Practice in the UK’.

    Atelier One has gained an international reputation as a structural engineering practice specializing in challenging projects. Collaborations with architects, artists, and designers have resulted in many interesting built projects, such as Gardens by the Bay with Grant Associates & Wilkinson Eyre; the London 2012 and Sochi 2014 Olympics Opening Ceremonies; Cloud Gate with Anish Kapoor; and the ‘Claw’ stage for U2’s 360º World Tour, with Mark Fisher.

    Neil has held a number of high-profile posts in UK and US educational institutions, most recently being a visiting professor at Yale and MIT, and he has co-written the book Liquid Threshold, which gives insight into the complex challenges of a number of extraordinary projects. Most recently, Neil has been appointed by Leeds University as a member of a steering group to develop a new architectural engineering course.

    In 2014 Neil was elected as a Royal Designer for Industry for his excellence and innovation in structural design and for sustained ingenuity as a structural engineer in collaborations to create groundbreaking public art. Later in the same year Neil received an Honorary RIBA Fellowship for both the excellence and the inventiveness of his contribution to architecture over the past 25 years.

    In 2015 Neil was named Fellow of the Institute of Structural Engineers and most recently in 2016 honored with an MBE on the Queen’s 90th birthday for his contributions to architecture, design, and engineering.