Makiko and Kieran met while they were working for Thomas Heatherwick in London. Kieran spent six years at Heatherwick studio starting as the first employee and helping to develop the practice out of a live-work space, to an internationally acclaimed practice.

Since graduating from Strathclyde University & Università degli Studi di Firenze (1992) with the school design prize, Kieran has worked in Zimbabwe, Berlin, London and Japan amassing experience on a variety of creative and artist led projects. His studies were completed at the Bartlett, UCL (1998) followed by professional qualification and registration with the ARB.

He has learned (and sadly now mostly forgotten) German, Italian and Japanese languages to conversational levels.

Kieran taught Diploma and MA architecture students at Strathclyde University in 2008-2009 and has been invited critic at Edinburgh College of Art & Strathclyde Universities 2009-2011 and Edinburgh University 2013.

He has given talks at Edinburgh University, the EAA, V&A at Dundee and Edinburgh's Pecha Kucha nights on the studio's work and has lectured at the Bartlett (UCL) and RIBA in London on Heatherwick Studio projects. Kieran also sat on the councils of the Edinburgh Architectural Association (2008-2011) and the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (2009-2011).

Kieran plays football (not very well) in the Portobello dads team, is a grade 4 seakayaker and rides a fixie (a fixed gear bicycle) to work whenever possible.


Makiko on research visit to Philips Lighting in Eindhoven looking at Organic LEDs

Makiko comes from Tokyo. An English literature graduate [1990], she left her business career in Japan in 1997 to follow her ambition to be a designer and maker. She worked as assistant designer on the V&A exhibition Brand.New in 2000 and after gaining a BA(Hons) in design from Brighton University (2001), continued work at Heatherwick studio.

Makiko leads the practice research and publishing. She contributes to design output and has taught and lectured at Edinburgh & Napier Universities.

She took up football in 2011 following the Japanese Women's world cup triumph and was an active participant in the Forest Pitch Art project as part of the Cultural Olympiad in 2012.

Makiko and Kieran left London for Japan in 2004 before moving to Edinburgh in 2007. They have three primary school age children.


Kieran working on an Urban Design Scheme with Danish architect Marianne Jørgensen
image by Ben Blossom