Somers Light

September 2015 | London, UK


Wellcome Collection and the Francis Crick Institute celebrated the 2015 UN International Year of Light with the local community of Sidney Estate, Somers Town, King’s Cross, London. Part of their community outreach program was to commission a design to breathe new life in to the central courtyard areas of the estate using light, within a permanent structure to include all residents.


I was creative lead on the winning design ‘Parlour Games’. I found site research references to the social interaction and game-playing that would take place in these Victorian homes and courtyards when first built. The victorian game of ‘Pick-Up Sticks’ also visually references the DNA structures/colours that Crick discovered, and residents were invited to place their own stamp or ‘DNA’ on to each stick used. The sticks were designed to be illuminated with solar lights. The final effect was that of a bunch of giant pick-up sticks being dropped from above the courtyard, landing in the trees and spearing the ground to create a giant courtyard chandelier. Let the games begin!


The design also references the potential in the future of Sydney Buildings and its presence in and amongst the current rapid changes across the Kings Cross landscape, and the new populations and industries coming to Somers Town and the developing Kings Cross Cultural Quarter.