Today’s Doodle, illustrated by UK-based guest artist Jing Zhang, celebrates British architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, who is widely regarded as one of the country’s most significant architects of the 20th century. Renowned for designs such as the Battersea Power Station and the now-iconic red telephone box illustrated in today’s Doodle, Scott combined traditional and modern styles to craft some of London’s most familiar landmarks.
Giles Gilbert Scott was born into a lineage of significant architects on this day in 1880 in London, England. When he was young, his mother encouraged him to carry forward the family legacy, and took him and his brother on bicycle trips to view church architecture throughout the English countryside. He went on to apprentice as an architect, and at just 21 he won a contest that landed him the largest commission of his life: the Liverpool Cathedral–one of many churches he designed throughout his career.
Yet Scott’s most famous creation may be his smallest–the red telephone box he designed in 1924 and simplified in 1935. The updated version was so popular that 60,000 units were installed across the United Kingdom. Today, many of the beloved booths have been reoutfitted to serve new purposes, from defibrillator stations to miniature libraries.
For his exceptional achievements in the field of architecture, Scott was knighted in 1924, and in 1944 he was awarded one of Britain’s highest honors—the Order of Merit.
Happy birthday, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott!
Early drafts of the Doodle below
Guest Artist Q&A with Jing Zhang
Today’s Doodle was illustrated by UK-based guest artist Jing Zhang. Below, she shares her thoughts behind the making of this Doodle:
Q: Why was this topic meaningful to you personally?
A: I see the phone boxes everywhere. Even though technology has evolved and we don't need to go to the phone boxes to make a call anymore, they remain a part of our lives. It's my pleasure to illustrate Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and one of his most iconic designs.
Q: What were your first thoughts when you were approached about the project?
A: I promised myself that I would bring these phone boxes back to life and remind people of the past and present through six boxes. I wanted to showcase the memory lane of Britain, through Sir Giles Gilbert Scott's iconic design.
Q: What do you hope people take away from your Doodle?
A: If you can't be with your loved ones, give them a call.