Norman Robert Foster, Baron Foster of Thames Bank, was born in 1935.
Foster was raised in Manchester in a working-class family and was intrigued by design and engineering from a young age. His years observing Mancunian architecture subsequently influenced his works and was inspired to pursue a career in architecture after a treasurer clerk noticed his sketches and interest in Manchester's buildings while he worked at Manchester Town Hall.
Foster gained an internship at a local architect's office before submitting a portfolio and winning a place at the University of Manchester School of Architecture. He subsequently won a scholarship to study at the Yale School of Architecture in the United States of America.
Foster returned to the United Kingdom in 1963 and set up a practice, Team 4 which became Foster + Partners. His breakthrough building was arguably the Willis Building in Ipswich in 1975 and he has since designed landmark structures such as Wembley Stadium and 30 St Mary Axe.
Norman Foster and Walter Knoll first started working together when Foster was working on the Reichstag Building in Berlin in 1999 - and turned his eye to furnishing. Since then, several lines have been created with Foster symbolising the synthesis of architecture and furnishing, including the Foster 500 sofas and armchairs.