Understanding Norman Foster’s product design through 11 objects

Ranging from furniture to ships and airplanes, a selection of projects to widen the view on 2024 Domus guest editor’s research, embracing the world of products related to different scales of living. 

The search for “one system of more eloquent simplicity” in architecture as in design, the wonder to finally get there: “so obvious and direct, you wonder why it took so long for them to evolve, but simplicity is quite deceptive” said Norman Foster referring to the pedal attachments in a racing bike.

This is the spirit that shines through from four decades in which Domus guest editor for 2024 has approached and sailed the world of industrial design, starting with the technological inspirations of Nomos tables and then embracing all scales of living, not necessarily in human-only terms: from the spoon to the city, one would say trivially. But the scale of the city is Foster’s best known. Instead, this selection investigates spoons, yachts, airplanes, seats, doors: in short, everything that is not a building and contributes to the design of the inhabited landscape.

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