Norman Foster — British Architect born on June 01, 1935,

Norman Robert Foster, Baron Foster of Thames Bank of Reddish, OM, HonFREng is a British architect whose company, Foster + Partners, maintains an international design practice famous for high-tech architecture... (wikipedia)

As an architect, you design for the present, with an awareness of the past, for a future which is essentially unknown.
A life-threatening illness or two certainly gives you an awareness of your own mortality. It heightens your sense of gratitude for things that previously, if you've not taken them for granted, you perhaps never appreciated how precious they were. That's almost a platitude, but one has to state the obvious.
In Britain, the idea one could go from blue-collar beginnings to the university was so far out, it was quite unthinkable. I took a variety of jobs to pay for tuition - from ice-cream salesman to night-club bouncer. Whatever earned the most money in the least time.
Since Stonehenge, architects have always been at the cutting edge of technology. And you can't separate technology from the humanistic and spiritual content of a building.
I hope that any expansion of London will learn from the planning examples of some of its most desirable areas such as Chelsea, Notting Hill, Belgravia and Mayfair. All are characterised by high density and a generosity of green spaces. They are all pedestrian-friendly with shops, entertainment, restaurants and pubs within easy walking distance.

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