Spitalfields art programme brings design opportunities

The design industry is set to benefit from a rolling, three-year public art programme to redevelop a 2ha site in London’s Spitalfields with a series of one-off temporary or permanent installations.

The programme is being developed by Spitalfields Development Group and is overseen by consultant Free Form Arts and curator Dickson Russell Art Management. The public art panel regularly brings on board new designers to create items that ‘react with the space’, says Alan Rossiter, associate director at Free Form Arts. It will be reviewed every eight months.

The installations will be scattered throughout Bishops Square, which has been redeveloped by architect Foster and Partners to include a covered market area, retail space, offices, cafés, bars and a revamped, landscaped square. It re-opened this month.

The first phase of temporary, site-specific design installations includes eight items – ranging from a canopy to signage – designed to reflect the diversity and history of the area.

Meanwhile, consultancy Thinkfarm and architect Modern Arc have been appointed to build a permanent £200 000 sculpture to mark the Spital Cross, an open-air pulpit where public announcements have been made since the Middle Ages. The design features interactive elements and the sculpture will ’emit noise’, says Mark Norton, creative director at Thinkfarm.

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