Soho Kids Xmas Lights 2022

by Antonio Capelao in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

We did it
On 14th November 2022 we successfully raised £501 with 10 supporters in 28 days

Christmas street lighting panels for Soho designed by Soho Primary school pupils to illuminate the streets in the upcoming festive season

by Antonio Capelao in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

In this project the 130 pupils of Soho Primary School explore what the built environment is and the role that lighting play within it to design Christmas street lighting to illuminate Soho this Christmas.

There is a long history of Christmas lighting in the West End but not Soho, and none ever designed by children.  Soho had a long history of makers (furniture, clocks, tailoring, musical instruments, and film and TV), and this project flags out that Soho can still design and make.

The pupils benefit from learning about cultures, traditions, communities, and architecture of their local areas and learn new design techniques including how to photograph buildings, how to transform their photographs into colourful line drawings, and how to develop designs through drawing iterations of one idea.  They gain pride and confidence from seeing their designs transformed into real lighting panels.

The lights will be exhibited in the streets of Soho from November till January - the design workshop with the pupils supported by RIBA Learning took place in April, and the curatorial one supported by The National Gallery in October.  The project also benefits with the kind financial support of sponsors i.e. Westminster Council and Broadwick Soho.

The project running for the second consecutive year, last year attracted the interest of the media, reaching a large audience, and we hope the same will happen in 2022 - we will be showcasing the 14 new designs alongside the 21 produced last year.

This year we developed a more complex brief, Lighting and Identity of Place, enabling pupils to research local buildings, communities, cultures and traditions to explore the role light plays within these elements, and to create feelings of identity and a sense of place from the areas we inhabit.  They used their findings to investigate how different forms of light can alter the architecture of our neighbourhoods, and our own sense of place.  Their investigations will be seen in lighting designs celebrating their local community and personal feelings of identity. 

This project benefits the school community, and the people living, working and visiting Soho - it heralds that Soho is more than a place to visit and party, but where families live, and everyone can enjoy the children’s illuminated interpretations of Soho.  Families from all over the country visit the surrounding area to view the Christmas lights, and being able to see lights designed by children will inspire and motivate them, particularly children and young people.

As a fitting conclusion, the project will culminate in an event on the 9th November (time tbc) to give students the opportunity to showcase their design and creation skills that have been developed and explored during this program, as well as for RIBA Learning (The Royal Institute of British Architects) to award some of the pupils designs - the Lord Mayor of Westminster will attend the switch on event.

This is a community project and we are short of funding this year, and your donation will help us cover the remainder costs for producing the lights and install them in the streets of Soho.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£25 or more

£25 Reward

You get a signed image (PDF file) of your choice that you can select from the 14 designs produced this year.

£100 or more

£100 Reward

You get a signed image (printed on paper) of your choice that you can select from the 14 designs produced this year.

£500 or more

£500 Reward

We will list your business logo or individual name in all our promo material.

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