Located on the steps of Waltham Forest College, the colourful intervention is part of the new local William Morris Design Line
A large-scale design intervention named Staircase of Dreams has animated the steps of Waltham Forest College in Walthamstow, east London. It is the result of a collaboration between artist and designer The Fandangoe Kid and students of the further education school, and aims to highlight the youth response to current politics.
Together, a series of activist slogans and bright colour blocks was chosen to cover the entrance staircase leading to the portico of the neoclassical college building, built in 1938 as South West Essex Technical College. Developed through Zoom workshops over lockdown, the work aims to promote a spirit of solidarity, unity and hope.
‘I can’t remember a time when engaging in politics felt more important,’ says The Fandangoe Kid. ‘The piece is about gathering young people’s voices, speaking out and pushing change forward. Every young person I have worked with to develop the narrative for this piece has said that there is no longer a place for apathy when it comes to politics, we have to push change forward together now and 2020 has been exemplary of this – things are urgent; we can’t afford to stay silent, any of us.’
The artwork is part of the William Morris Design Line, a new community-focused design route through the streets of Walthamstow celebrating local designers, makers, heritage and social activism which has been launched as part of London Design Festival (12–20 September).
The name of the design route celebrates Walthamstow-born British designer William Morris for his belief in art ‘made by the people and for the people’. Morris’s design principles of craft, unity, community and simplicity have provided the core themes connecting the different elements and activities of the route.
Other creatives involved in the Design Line include industrial designer and researcher Liang-Jung Chen and the Extinction Rebellion Art Group.