AN ELGIN EXCLUSIVE FEATURE By Surabhi Sunil
Born in August 1949, Cruickshank holds a BA in Art, Design and Architecture and is also a visiting faculty and honorary fellow of many reputed names such as the Royal Institute of British Artists. He mostly stuck to Britain and Ireland, exploring their culture, architecture and the effect of multiple incidents on the country, but on a rare occasion, he took one of his shows outside the British Isles.
Writer, Presenter and Consultant, That’s how Cruickshank’s journey with the BBC started. Following ‘One Foot in the Past’ and ‘The House Detectives’, in 2001 he wrote and presented the series Invasion in which he examined attempts and plans to invade Britain and Ireland over the years by exploring coastal fortresses and defensive structures around the coast of the country to discover their military heritage.
In 2003, he wrote and presented how recent warfare had affected the country’s historic artefacts by visiting museums and buildings in the affected areas, Afghanistan, Iraq and Israel.
The World Trade Center in New York and rebuilding ground zero after the 9/11 attacks were the focal point of ‘Towering Ambitions: Dan Cruickshank at Ground Zero’. He presented and examined the debate and discussion that led to the selection of Daniel Libeskind’s design.
Perhaps his great success, Around the World in 80 Treasures came out in 2005. It chronicled Cruickshank’s journey over the course of five months to visit eighty man-made artefacts or buildings that he had selected charting man’s road map to civilization.
Dan Cruickshank is also the co-founder of The Spitalfields Historic Buildings Trust, an architectural preservation charity based out of Britain. It was founded in 1977 to rescue the remaining Georgian houses in Spitalfields, London one of which Cruickshank and his family occupy.
The historian and broadcaster, has forged a reputation for erudition, wit and insight into the myriad ways that architects shape the human experience. His tales reveal not only the most important moments in history but also the forgotten characters who witnessed them all wrapped together as a beautiful and interesting history lesson that keeps you on your toes wanting more.