Designers tell us which landmarks they would like to see brought to life

Last week The Illuminated River Foundation launched a competition looking for designers to create permanent light installations on London’s bridges. We ask designers what other landmarks they would turn their hands to.

Photo by Mark Mainz
Wayne Hemingway, founder, Hemingway Design (photo by Mark Mainz)

“All those butterfly roofed monstrosities that architects consistently “design” along the Thames. It would be great to do lighting projections that make these buildings (that give a bad name to butterflies) look like they are being demolished by almighty amounts of dynamite.”

Luke Thompson, designer, Kin Design
Luke Thompson, designer, Kin Design

“The success of light based festivals like Lumiere really show not just the appetite for immersive and impressive installation pieces, but also prove that there’s an engaged audience in cities at night. I think it’d be great to use some of our amazing museums to showcase choice archive objects on the outside of their buildings after hours. Even the post pub crowd around Bloomsbury could soak up some British Museum highlights.”

Chris Mather, chief executive, Mather & Co
Chris Mather, chief executive, Mather & Co

“The White Cliffs of Dover are 10 miles of blank canvas to draw upon with a truly diverse viewing audience, on a clear day you can see across to Dover from the cliffs of the French coast. The iconic sight for travellers stands as the Gateway to England and has been immortalised in song, literature and art. From the arrival of Julius Caesar to wartime defences, the cliffs have stood as one of UK’s most famous landmarks. Imagine the things they have seen and the stories that they could tell if brought to life.”

Chris Waggot, founding director, Common Works

“London has an incredible network of tunnels, and in our opinion they don’t get enough attention. For instance, we would love to see a mini version of the mad Shanghai Bund tunnel light show in the Greenwich foot tunnel, bringing a focus onto transient spaces and creating playful journeys.”

Sam Bompas, co-founder, Bompas & Parr (photo Charlie Surbey)
Sam Bompas, co-founder, Bompas & Parr (photo Charlie Surbey)

“As I walk through the city with my co-founder Harry, we often speculate on what certain landmarks would taste like – the caramel wafer confection of the Houses of Parliament set against the iced mint twister of the Gherkin.

For us the landmarks that should be brought to life by designers are the overlooked statuary of the city. London’s many thousands of statues, memorials, sculptures and public landmarks each with many stories. One of my favourites is the Monument to the Unknown Construction Worker by the Tower of London. Perhaps designers could bring the life force back into this overlooked street embellishment, making statue viewing a craze that sweeps the nation.

For ourselves we’d create cocktails that paired with the different monuments, both flavourwise and in terms of stories. Then for a day each year we’d invite everyone to come do bodyshots off their favourite statues.”

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