Adam Nathaniel Furman (they/them) builds differently. From the way in which their sculptural and architectural occupation of space challenges the historical canon of western architecture and design, to collaborative creations of furniture and products. For all their projects, Nathaniel Furman aims at making inclusive environments to express and offer a plurality of experiences.
Born and raised in London, Nathaniel Furman is an architect, designer, and artist of Japanese and Argentine heritage, who graduated from the Architectural Association School of Architecture. From a young age constructing was a way for the artist to express them self, which since 2016 has occurred within the framework of their creative studio: atelierANF. Inspired by interesting problems and engaging obstacles, Nathaniel Furman finds alternative approaches to solve them. A departure from the traditional and classical structures, Nathaniel Furman’s work questions mainstream taste and codes by celebrating ambiguity and the body.
For commissions, Nathaniel Furman likes to work with a context, a site, a timeframe, and a location, which enables them to craft their ideas through sketching and drawing. For their personal projects, Furman works intuitively, creating sensual pieces with affect and effect. Aesthetics, shapes, and colours are their political mode of expression.
Inspired by London’s vibrant life, 1990s Soho’s radical queer scene, their multicultural background and the history of architecture, atmosphere is at the centre of Nathaniel Furman’s practice. This is obtained thanks to a free exploration of ornamentation – away from constraints and cages – through permanent facades, public plazas and interiors. Projects such as Gateways, 2017, highlight their love of craftsmanship by working with Turkish ceramics. Public space installations are also a way to create a dialogue with audiences in an accessible way. Democracy, a guiding principle in their work, has been expressed in projects such as the Liberal Archive (2020) and the Democratic Monument (2017).
Not interested in being didactic with their creations, Nathaniel Furman however carries long-term research projects, the most recent result is the publication of Queer Spaces: An Atlas of LGBTQIA+ Places and Stories (RIBA, 2022). They also co-direct Saturated Space at the Architectural Association, a research group on colour as an active protagonist in architecture. Nathaniel Furman’s work has been exhibited all over the world, and is held in the collections of the Design Museum (London), the Sir John Soane’s Museum, the Carnegie Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Victoria, the National Museum (of Norway), the Abet Museum, and the Architectural Association.
Nathaniel Furman’s works are, most often three-dimensional large-scale, visualisations and representations of identities. They describe it as a “visible physical presence of queerness”— as encapsulated in their Proud Little Pyramid (2021). Beautiful, dynamic, and intriguing, Furman’s work is an invitation to rethink our daily environment.
Selected Awards, Exhibitions and Publications
Awarded place on the LHC housing Framework as a group bid with OMMX and Office S&M.
Democratic Monument to be shown in the National Museum in Oslo, and Proud Little Pyramid to be rebuilt in the Design Museum Holon as part of a show on gender in design.
Awarded place on the Mayor of London’s Architectural Framework as a group bid with OMMX, Msoma and YAA Projects.
Essay “Untoward Architecture” in Owen Hopkins book Towards A New Architecture.
Essay “Radical Window Dressing” in Book on Gender in Architecture by the Architectural Review.
On the panel that decided on projects to be included in the Women’s Work map of London by Part W.
Exhibited in Rarible’s first Queer NFT show & Rarible NFT Paris, Paris, France.
Cover Feature in Ceramics Review.
Cover feature in Platform Magazine.
Shortlist for the Colvin Prize for Queer Spaces.
Democratic Monument exhibited as part of Architecture of Staged Realities at the Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Essay “Memory Palace” Published in the 7th edition of the Journal of Civic Architecture.
Talks given at Cal Poly Uni, Cranbrooke College, Israeli Institute for Interior Design, Arkitera Architecture Center, Vitra Design Museum, Eindhoven Technical and Design Universities, amongst others.
Work featured as one of the UK’s most important young architects in L’Architecture D’aujourdhui.
Talks given for Dezeen, and acted as judge on the Dezeen awards 2020 as well as the FRAME awards 2020.
Presenting As Progressive, Practicing Through Exclusion, an essay published on Common Edge that initiated discussions worldwide about inclusivity in architecture.
Won Best Product Designer of the Year in the FX Awards 2019.
Lectures given at Harvard GSD & Oslo Architecture House, amongst others.
Won Best Small Project in the Blueprint Awards 2018.
One of the Evening Standard’s 1000 Most Influential Londoners 2018.
Shortlisted for Best Product Design in the Blueprint Awards 2018.
Presentation & Panel discussion on “success in architecture” at the Royal Academy of Arts, London.
Lecture at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.
Elle Decor Italia “New Talent for 2018”.
Metropolis Magazine “New Talent” 2017.
Lecture and discussion with Deyan Sudjic and Marcus Fairs on the legacy of Memphis.
The Roman Singularity Exhibition at the Sir John Soane’s Museum, September-December 2017.
Keynote architecture program lecture and hosting of a symposium of Queering Architecture and Urbanism at Berkeley University, California
Lecture at Casa dell’architettura, Rome.
Presented by Rowan Moore, architecture critic of the Observer, as one of Britain’s four “rising stars” for 2017.
Gave a talk at the Royal Institute of British Architects called “Heroic Little Architectures”.
Extensively featured in the first edition of the critical design book-magazine publication “Oubliquite”.
One of Italian Vogue’s featured ‘most exciting young designers’.
Commissioned to create a multimedia installation “Superfice 03” at the Palazzo Clerici for the Milan Fiera.
One of the Architecture Foundations “New Architects 3”, published every decade, it is a showcasing of the best new talent in British architecture.
One of two artists invited to create new work for the exhibition “Sottsass: Father and Son” at Inoperable gallery, Vienna. Five new vignette were made for limited edition sale called the “Baroque Baumeister” series.
Finalist in the Cramum Prize for Young Artists working in Italy. Work exhibited in Milan, Italy.
UK Rome Prize for Architecture
Exhibited as part of “Space Craft” at Platform, King’s Road, a collaboration between the Crafts Council UK and Habitat. This show went on tour around the UK for a further 18months, including Tent London in London Design Festival.
Poem “Babel” published in Brittle Star Magazine Issue 34.
Exhibitor at the “Future Heritage” Feature at Decorex, showing the new collection “Babelle”.
The objects from “Identity Parade”, as well as a new sculpture “You and Me”exhibited at the Hospital Club, London, UK.
Work featured as one of the UK’s most important young architects in L’Architecture D’aujourdhui.
Co-curated and produced a new commission for Re.Presence at Sto Workstatt, launched during Clerkenwell Design Week, an exhibition exploring new methods of representation across the rising generation of artists and architects in London. The show was widely reviewed, and the AR said: “Tackling the elusive brief of an architectural exhibition, Sto Werkstatt’s offerings were a refreshing break from Clerkenwell Design Week’s commercial dominances.”
“Subject, Theory, Practice” was one of 8 short films chosen to be included in the New York Architecture & Design Film Festival 2013
Exhibitor with “Identity Parade” at the Designers in Residence 2013 Exhibition at the Design Museum London. The project was widely published, including in The Saturday Telegraph, The Evening Standard, Icon Magazine, Dezeen, Bluperint, ClassicFeel (South Africa), The New York Times, the book “Printing Things” by Gestalten, a book on 3d printing and Craft by Thames & Hudson, China Ceramic Design, RIBA Journal and the Architectural Review.
3d-Printed ceramic Houseware exhibited at 100% Design, London, UK.
Exhibiting artist in ‘Pyramid Schemes”, an exhibition by Lawrence Lek and The White Review, as well as being a participating writer in the Pyramid Schemes book with the text “Gap”.
Exhibiting artist in the 2012 Kernel Art Festival.
“Cluster On Me”, proposal for an alternative development above the Tottenham Court Road Crossrail site published over 4 pages in the Urban Theories & Strategies chapter of the Evolo book on Skyscrapers.
“Arcadian Drift”, a video installation as part of the Visionary Trading Project (showing the month of June in Guest Projects, Hackney). Arts Council, National Lottery.
A video in collaboration with Ilona Dorota Sagar, creating a surreal dreamscape set in London Fields and Broadway Market, constructed entirely out of language taken from advertisements for gentrification housing developments in the area, and footage of people in the park and market at various times of day and week.
12 Pages Hybrid Edition: An installation was published in the fourth edition of the arts magazine 12Pages. The piece was entitled ‘Superfice01’.
Bi-Blog webzine; 5 articles published in this architectural theory blog, over 6 months.
“Her Chambre Bleue” Hospital Club, A performance in collaboration with artist Ilona Dorota Sagar exploring the Hospital Club as a container
for echoes of the Salons of old.
Degrees Of Enclosure The Barbican
A film in collaboration with artist Ilona Dorota Sagar exploring the Barbican complex as a shadow-land of lost utopias. Shown at “Architectural Playgrounds”, and “Cross Currents” at the Barbican gallery, as well as at PolyPly in King’s Cross.
Digital Hinterlands Exhibition Fitzrovia: Participated in an exhibition showcasing young British architects who are pushing the limits of digital design in the field of design and architecture.
Digital Hinterlands Book: Internationally circulated publication launched in parallel with the exhibition. My work was shown together with a text on my approach to digital design.
Open City, published as part of a series for the 2009 Rotterdam, Biennale.
Salon, Curated, designed and exhibited in a month-long exhibition at the AA about cross-disciplinary collaboration between artists and architects. A series of events occurred within the exhibition using the specifically design furniture (plays, lectures, talks), including guests Mark Cousins, Hans Ulrich Obrist, David Cotterell and Richard Wentworth.
Jena Theatre Festival Jena, Germany, Audio Visual Installation event, utilizing set elements designed by Marsha Ginsberg, in the main theatre
hall of an old building by Walter Gropius, as part of the theatre festival.
Interspace Bauhaus Dessau, Exhibited a video about encounters within spaces of performance, and designed the exhibition’s graphics.
“Sculpture Not Sculpture”, The Corridor Gallery, Hackney, Exhibited a film and several sculptures as an installation revolving around the island of Capri entitled “Objectification: a Parable of Possession”.
Factory For The Recycling Of Passé London Architecture exhibition at the AA
A 15m super-drawing, a video presentation, and a 2.2m high, dense physical model produced by the students in the AA Summer School unit6, were exhibited for a month as a part of the AA’s events program.
AA Projects Review Diploma 9 AA: Designed a large landscape and exhibition space for displaying all the work of Diploma 9 for the
academic year 2007-2008.
AA HONOURS competitive prize for best graduation projects produced each year at the architectural association.
AA PRIZE Award for outstanding work produced at the architectural association, one recipient each year.
Nicholas Boas Scholarship
RIBA Bronze Commendation
Professional Academic Experience
2009 – present
Repeatedly invited as a guest critic to the Architectural Association, Chelsea College of Art, London Metropolitan University, Central Saint Martins, University of Kent, Cambridge and the Royal College of Art, Brighton University amongst others.
Saturated Space Research Group AA
Co-Director of a research group at the AA that publishes, organises trips, symposiums and lectures exploring the role of colour as a mode of design, discourse and debate in contemporary Architecture and Urbanism. We have a continuing program of publishing new texts, research and artworks on the subject as well as having organised events at the Venice Biennale, IUAV, and the AA amongst others.
Associate Lecturer at London College of Communication.
BA Studio Master of Productive Exuberance at Central St Martins Architecture.
Sint-Lucas University Urbanism Workshop Almere, Holland, Brussels, and Ghent, Belgium.
Co-ran a workshop for the first and second year graduate students in urbanism, exploring the weirdness of, and proposing additions and transformations to the new city of Almere in Holland.
Diploma Unit 9 AA. 9 months: assistant to Natasha Sandmeier, running workshops and tutorials.
DIGITAL CERAMICS AA. 9 months: co-ran a unit that explored the use of digital fabrication techniques in the manufacturing of ceramic elements, both architectural tiles and objects.
AA Tel Aviv Summer School David Azrieli School of Architecture, Israel. 2 weeks, co-ran a unit that explored the relationship between representational abstraction and figuration; and between digital fabrication and visual reception.
Sint-Lucas University Urbanism Workshop Louvain-La Neuve, Brussels, and Ghent, Belgium. 2 weeks, co-ran a film-based workshop for the graduate course in urbanism. Explorations of, and propositional strategies for, the expansion of the utopian 60s town of Louvain-La-Neuve. The films formed the basis for the next year’s work in the studios.
AA Summer School Unit 1 1month, co-ran a film-based unit, that explored future urban scenarios in a bankrupt London faced with the redundancy of its own existing architecture.
AA Summer School Unit 6 1 month, co-ran a model-and-drawing based unit, that developed through design and narration, a new urban typology aimed at the productive recycling of defunct Architectural Styles.
Follow Adam Nathaniel Furman on Instagram@Adam Nathaniel Furman