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 and ghostwritten 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. I have helped firms find the right tone of voice, define their messages, establish brand guidelines and train staff to write with more confidence.

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 to a coffee table book. 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 – I 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 and write about 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 and ArtReview to The Evening Standard. I’ve worked on some great books, including Exercises in Seating by Max Lamb, 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 like projects that take design off the bookshelf, out of the studio and the industry. At Foster + Partners, I wrote for several exhibitions and helped to organise VocalEyes tours of their buildings for the blind and visually impaired. A recent exhibition highlight has been The Anatomy of Structure: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, where I got the chance to write about experimental structures and 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 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, mentoring individuals
  • Publishing and graphic design – books, magazines, online and exhibitions
  • Writing, editing and reviewing competition submissions
  • Policy statements and annual reviews

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