In the Foster studio, 2014

As a design and architecture writer, I work on all kinds of commissions, from building descriptions and articles to interviews, essays, white papers and ghost-written opinion. I’m based in London, but work with organisations across the world. My clients and collaborators have included Heatherwick Studio, Foster + Partners, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Zaha Hadid Design, Piercy&Company, Max Lamb, Gemma Holt/Dent-de-Leone and Martino Gamper.

Editorial Content brings together a few of these projects. I collaborate with a brilliant network of people: publicity, social media and business development strategists, experts in film, photography, graphics and production, as well as other writers and artists. Collectively, we have the resources to take on a wide range of larger commissions, from a magazine or book to a media campaign. If you are looking to team up on a content project, get in touch.

My Background

I studied Interactive Arts at Manchester School of Art, an experimental, ideas-led course – alumni include artists, film directors, environmentalists and animators. After admitting defeat as a conceptual artist and a brief spell as an art consultant, I followed my interest in architecture, and have worked in the industry for more than fifteen years.

For almost eight years, I was the in-house writer and managed written communications for Foster + Partners, the architecture studio founded by Norman Foster. Here, I got to learn about and publicise the design of everything from a lunar habitation to a winery. I wrote for some notable project wins, including the Apple campus, towers for Comcast in Philadelphia and 425 Park Avenue, New York, Mexico City International Airport and the West Kowloon Cultural District masterplan in Hong Kong. And there was the Thames Hub, the airport that wasn’t in the Thames Estuary.

My writing has been in a range of publications, from AD, Arquitectura Viva, A+U and ArtReview to FastCompany and The Evening Standard. I’ve worked on some great books, including Exercises in Seating by Max Lamb, a range of Foster + Partners’ publications, including Moving: Norman Foster on Art, Making by Thomas Heatherwick and, most recently, a very small book about Martino Gamper’s Arnold Circus Stool. I also collaborate with clients on longer-term ‘vision’ propositions: recently, an idea for the synergy of health and vacant retail spaces, a net zero roadmap for local government, and a document to guide a major development as it evolves over decades.

I also like projects that take design off the bookshelf and out of the studio. At Foster + Partners, I wrote for several exhibitions and worked with VocalEyes to enable tours of their buildings for the blind and visually impaired. Writing for a recent exhibition, The Anatomy of Structure: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, I explained some of the studio’s experimental structures and got to interview the engineer behind the world’s tallest tower.

Sarah Simpkin, a London-based writer and editor, Editorial Content

I admire the perseverance of architects, the time it takes to see a project through to completion. I want to do justice to that process, but not get lost in the details. I try to help clients get back to the joy of that first sketch and tell a compelling story. I also write for fun.

Some of the services I cover:

  • Communications, publicity and content strategy for architecture and design studios
  • Writing press releases, project descriptions and features
  • Ghost-writing interviews, articles, speeches and opinion/thought leadership
  • Defining marketing messages, developing collateral
  • Tone of voice and style guides; training in-house teams and mentoring individuals
  • Publishing and graphic design – books, magazines, online and exhibitions
  • Writing, editing and reviewing competition submissions and producing journals/annual reviews

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