Head of Design
David Nelson shares design responsibility for all Foster + Partners’ projects as joint Head of Design. He studied three-dimensional design at Loughborough College of Art and Hornsey College of Art, specialising in furniture and industrial design, before gaining a Master’s degree at the Royal College of Art Environmental Design School. In 1974 he received a travelling scholarship to study town planning in northern Italy.
He joined Foster Associates in 1976, working on a number of important early projects including the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts and the Hammersmith Centre. In 1979 he joined the team working on the design of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, eventually sharing design responsibility for the project. He was made a Director of Foster Associates in 1984. He returned to London in 1986 and became the director responsible for a wide range of projects, including the American Air Museum at Duxford, Century Tower in Tokyo and projects in Asia, Europe, Australia and the USA.
Since becoming a Partner in 1991, he has worked on many projects including the Reichstag, New German Parliament in Berlin. He has also overseen a number of transport projects, including Bilbao Metro in Spain, North Greenwich Transport Interchange and Canary Wharf Underground station in London. Recent projects include the Petronas University of Technology in Malaysia, Stanford University Laboratories in California, the McLaren Technology Centre and Production Centre in Woking, the new Supreme Court in Singapore, the Florence High-speed Railway Station, an office tower and mixed-use development in Sydney, Australia, Central Market and Masdar City in Abu Dhabi and the Apple Campus in California. He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the RIBA in 2002.