Cecil Balmond Biography
Sri Lankan born Cecil Balmond moved to the UK in the 1970s where he joined Ove Arup as an engineer.
Cecil Balmond quickly rose up the ranks to become Deputy Chairman, running the global behemoth across almost 100 offices, successfully entering new territories and delivering some of the most challenging buildings the world has ever seen.
Innovation doesn’t exist in a vacuum. To do different, we must first think different – change how we see, breakdown and organise the world around us. Cecil’s multi-disciplinary approach shatters traditional boundaries and is a new approach to business, design, and collaboration. It is based on over 40 years of research investigating the world around us, unlocking its hidden power to yield astonishing and efficient results.
Dubbed the “Anti-gravity man, ” by the New York Times, Balmond became famous for making possible, the impossible; a bridge that doesn’t meet, a somersaulting skyscraper. At Arup he set up the AGU, a hybrid “lab” which included physicists, musicians, theoreticians, and researchers in the creative process. It became widely sought after and is a multidisciplinary model that has since been highly copied. His blockbuster book, Informal, laid out his ground-breaking manifesto and remains a go-to for creatives of any disciplines.
In 2011 Cecil left Arup to set up his own firm, Balmond Studio which continues to break new ground in art, architecture, and design. Recent projects include the Farhang Freedom sculpture in LA, which opened last year to commemorate human rights, and Keells Waterfront, a $400m development in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
As a thought-leader, Cecil continues to lecture worldwide and win awards. He has taught architecture at some of the world’s most prestigious institutions including Harvard, Yale, and Penn, where he currently runs the research group, NSO. He is a self-trained classical guitarist and music remains a key inspiration.
He is a charismatic and inspiring speaker who is willing to share his insights and secrets to both commercial and creative success. For Cecil, life is complex, not complicated. He can show how to obtain order from chaos and make strategic decisions based on the full picture.
Many minds open many doors. Yet the process isn’t easy. Cecil has mastered the art of the collaboration and cross-disciplinary thinking and can demonstrate how to work together with fluidity and purpose, less restriction, more ideas, and multiple outputs.
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