Nigel Coates

Nigel Coates is architect, designer and author. Born in 1949, and trained at University of Nottingham and the Architectural Association. Nigel Coates is one of Britain’s consistently original thinkers in architecture, interior and product design. His subversive spirit first came to public attention in 1984 with the publication of NATO (Narrative Architecture Today) magazine.
A manifesto for a socio-culturally engaged and popular, narrative driven architecture, it advised readers to be the architects of their own lives, and in doing so, to radically adapt the buildings around them. Certain themes, in particular that of narrative, have continued in Coates’ designs and research ever since. Form must follow fiction. He believes that the city is best understood if explored as a living organism, and that popular experience and culture are central to the experience of architecture. His work plays on psychogeographic association between the built environment and desire. Time and motion, he says, is the dynamic partner to the fixed, physical world. Art and literary strategies, including the curatorship of others, find their way into many of his projects. Nigel Coates has designed and built influential interiors, exhibitions and buildings around the world.
His build works in Japan include Caffè Bongo, the Wall, Noah’s Ark and Art Silo, and in Britain, the National Centre for Popular Music (now the Hub), Powerhouse::uk and the Geffrye Museum. Throughout his colorful career, he has pursued experimental work that has been shown in an art and design context, including Ecstacity at the same venue, Mixtacity at Tate Modern in 2007, and Hypnerotosphere at the 11th Venice Architecture Biennale in 2008. He is also a prolific designer of lighting and furniture, with links to Alessi, AVMazzega, Ceramica Bardelli, Frag, Fratelli Boffi, Poltronova, Slamp and Varaschin. Examples of his work are held in collections around the world including the Victoria & Albert Museum, Cooper Hewitt and FRAC. Having led the Department of
Architecture at the Royal College of Art from 1995-2011, he is now an RCA Professor Emeritus. His book Narrative Architecture (Wiley) will be published in 2012.


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