Weekend Agenda

Weekend Design Agenda | The best free art & design events in London this month

By Sarah Bean

blurred figure walking through a pale blue gallery

This weekend is bursting full of FREE events in London to feed your design appetite. From the annual Lumiere festival to photography and poster design, this is a weekend full of creativity. Making use of the dark evenings, London is switched on and lit up by Lumiere, the experimental lights festival that comes to the city once a year. Winter Lights and a sonic light bubble are also fuelling the lighting craze. Some of these events end this weekend so be sure to catch them before they finish.


To start with, you need to catch Lumiere in all its glory. It finishes this weekend, 5.30pm-10.30pm.

Covering the entire city, the event represents 50 UK and international artists lighting up the capital in King’s Cross, Fitzrovia, Mayfair, the West End, Westminster, Victoria, Waterloo and the South Bank. Time out Londonhas a great article on the best ones to see here.


PENSON also spotted the opportunity for all of you not taking part in dry January: a drinks trail in collaboration with prime bars along Lumiere festival. The offer is three cocktails for £19 at selected bars and restaurants along Lumiere Festival’s trail. Check it out here. You need to get tickets by this Sunday but the tickets are still valid after the event until the 31st Jan.

If you’re interested in historical architecture then head to Soan’s Ark: Building with Symbols at the Sir Joan Soan’s Museum London, until this Sunday 20th, from 10am.


Neo-Classical architect Sir John Soane is responsible for many of London’s monuments from the Bank of England to Dulwich Picture Gallery, not to mention London’s Freemason’s Hall. This stunning exhibition marks the 300th anniversary of the first Masonic Grand Lodge in London with a re-creation of Sir Soane’s ‘Ark of the Masonic Covenant’ and an exhibition exploring Soane’s work.

Winter Lights at Canary Wharf carry on the lighting theme with 30 artworks, installations and interactive experiences. 5pm onwards everyday until Saturday 27th Jan.


There’s light graffiti, a 3D immersion in a rainbow spectrum of colour and a giant floating halo. Not to mention a ‘sonic Light Bubble’ by Australian studio ENESS. It pulsates with 236 LEDs and lets out sounds when you interact with it.

Don’t forget the Thames Pulse is still running (until March 16th, 2018) with projections on three of the sea containers at Mondrian Hotel London. The lights are a permanent fixture every evening from dusk until midnight.


Artist Jason Bruges’ light installation shines one of three patterns on to the Sea Containers at Mondrian London based on whether the Thames water quality is good, average or poor according to the day’s Thames data reading. The data is tweeted via the @ThamesPulse account and a screen shows readings in real time.

Pretty in Punk x Julia Gorton runs at Untitled Bar until Sunday 4th March 2018.


Julia Gorton photographed Debbie Harry, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith and Richard Hell amongst others in New York of the 1970s. All of her photos from that era are on show at the Dalston cocktail bar.

National Theatre Posters runs until March the 31st at the National Theatre’s Wolfson gallery. Entry is free, talks are low priced.


The exhibition explores the evolution of poster design at the National Theatre and showcases lots of classic examples.