Award winning Architecture for Kids CIC presents its annual Soho Kids Xmas Lights project showcasing the designs of pupils from Soho Parish Primary School.
The children designed the Christmas street lighting in keeping with this year's theme of lighting, identity of place, and fashion - inspired by their local area, which also offers an invitation to the entire community to engage and to reflect on the importance of the identity of a place and its development.
The project inspired by the primary school pupils in Newburgh (Scotland) was set up in 2021 and managed by Antonio Capelao architect and co-founding director Architecture for Kids CIC, now in its 3rd annual edition; and is coproduced with Hannah Peaty, Assistant Head Teacher Soho Parish Primary School, Cllr Patrick Lilley, West End ward Councillor Westminster Council Lead Member for Soho, Joshua Brooks, Learning Manager RIBA, Siobhan MaGill, Director Archer Street Bars, Jamie Poulton, Director Randall Aubin and co-chair Soho Business Alliance, and Rupert Power Director Sophie’s House and co-chair Soho Business Alliance.
The children researched local buildings, communities, cultures and traditions – exploring the role light plays in each of these elements, and how we create feelings of identity and a sense of place from the areas we inhabit. As well as visited the London Fashion and Textile Museum to gain inspiration for their designs.
In a series of design workshops led by Antonio, Joshua and Hannah, all the 130 school pupils transformed their investigations into lighting designs depicting aspects of local identity and feelings of personal identity; and in a curatorial workshop facilitated by Antonio and Hannah, the 14 winners curated the exhibition of their lights for the streets of Soho.
The children’s designs were judged by a committee of local residents and businesses owners - Antonio Capelao at Architecture for Kids CIC, Siobhan MaGill at Archer Street Bar, Jamie Poulton at Randall Aubin, Rupert Power at Sophie’s House, Hannah Peaty at Soho Parish Primary School, David Monson and Sabine Kern at Broadwick, Joshua Brooks at RIBA, Caroline James-Ford at Soho Housing, Laura Sanjuan at SODA, Caroline Smith at The National Gallery, Grace Simmonds at NLA, Ayça Donaghy at the LIA, Dr Hiral Patel at Welsh School of Architecture Cardiff University, Laura Bull Cardiff University, Justin James at National Software Academy Cardiff University, Ines Lourenco at Casa da Arquitetura (Porto), Emily Knight at Show Studio, Daniel Lismore fabric sculptor, designer, and campaigner, Cllr Jessica Toale, Cllr Paul Fisher, and West End ward Councillor Westminster Council Lead Member for Soho Patrick Lilley.
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), and the Lighting Industry Association (the LIA) has selected some of the pupils designs to receive an award for their outstanding design works.
The 14 winning designs were transformed into LED lighting designs by Blachere Illumination UK and installed by Sparkx, and will be exhibited in the streets of Soho from 14th November till 7th January, alongside the 35 designed in the two previous editions – this year showcasing a total of 49 lighting creations designed by the pupils of Soho Parish Primary School in the last three years, with designs inspired by their local community, Soho, that reflect their understanding of the place where they live and study.
The project will bring the community together through a celebration of light during the darkest months of the year!
Awards and nomination (latter to be announced on the 4th of December 2023)
Thornton Education Trust (TET), Inspire Future Generations Awards - 2023 Commendation One-off programme children: Soho Kids Xmas Lights – Architecture for Kids CIC
Thornton Education Trust (TET), Inspire Future Generations Awards – 2024 Nomination for KS1/2 Category Architecture into Education Awards: Soho Kids Xmas Lights – Hannah Peaty Assistant Head Teacher Soho Parish School
Finally, a special thanks to Cllr Patrick Lilley, Daniel Lismore, Soho Business Alliance, Soho Society, Soho Radio, Soho Clarion, and to all the Sponsors and Supporters!
Explore the renowned streets of Soho and discover the unique Christmas light display. Walk the Christmas trail by following the map.
Copyright of Soho Kids Xmas Lights 2023.