Published on 13 September 2018
As part of the annual London Design Festival, designjunction has created a number of thought-provoking outdoor installations on the Riverside Walkway, located in the cultural hub of London’s South Bank. A landmark will be the stunning Head Above Water by Steuart Padwick and made from PEFC-certified cross-laminated timber (CLT).
British designer Steuart Padwick will make a dramatic change to the London skyline in support of mental health with Head Above Water. With its panoramic views of St Paul’s Cathedral and the iconic city skyline, Head Above Water is a 9m high sculpture on Queen’s Stone jetty on London’s South Bank. At night the Head Above Water will be lit and people will be able to engage with its changing colours to reflect how they are feeling through a designated Twitter feed in real time.
The ‘Head’ is deliberately gender, ethnicity and age neutral and stands as a symbol of hope, bravery, compassion, positivity and change, for those who have come through or are still confronting mental health issues and the people who support them.
Steuart Padwick first sculpted a head in clay and then developed the concept into its current form using precision engineered, renewable and sustainable CLT panels, provided by Store Enso. To realise the structure Steuart Padwick worked with structural engineering experts, Ramboll. It is a model of sustainable, smart design and build. Sir Kenneth Grange, British Industrial Designer said: “At last one of the major issues of our times, so often swept under the carpet, gets to be shouted from the rooftops and that cheers me greatly.”
Over 20 companies worked on the project and PEFC UK is proud to be one of the sponsors. The sculpture weighs 10 tons, used 3000 screws and 48 meters of LEDs in its construction and took only 15 weeks from inception to completion.
Alun Watkins who heads up PEFC in the UK commented: “I am delighted that PEFC UK was able to lend its support to such an imaginative project. Head Above Water highlights the importance of recognising mental health issues and also demonstrates the versatility of CLT as a construction material. The good news is that the timber used to make the CLT was sourced from certified sustainable forests, thereby providing the project team with assurances of responsible sourcing.”
The piece of public art will be supporting the mental health campaign Time to Change, (run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness) who will use this dynamic platform to engage and stimulate the discussion to eradicate mental health-related stigma and discrimination. British Designer Steuart Padwick is known for his warm, witty and sculptural designs. He is a designer of furniture, lighting and products for domestic and contract spaces with the aim of producing pieces that both fit the needs of people’s lives and enhance their modern environments.
designjunction (20 – 23 September) is part of the annual London Design Festival (15 –23 September). For more information visit: http://www.steuartpadwick.co.uk/head-above-water