Please note: this event has passed
A spectacular, promenade experience featuring a series of huge interactive creatures will take over the Strand Aldwych pedestrianised area in central London from 17 – 20 January 2024.
Glowbot Garden is an opportunity for people to meet a host of inflatable, pneumatically controlled creatures, many of which are taller than double-decker buses, in the largest presentation to date from creative soft robotics studio Air Giants.
The different robots respond with unique motion, light and sound, making no two interactions the same.
Highlights in the garden, which will take over the pedestrianised area adjacent to the King’s Strand Campus and surrounding St Mary le Strand Church, will include Luma - the 9 metre-long, flexing, contorting snail and Unfurl – a dreamscape of 17 plants including giant interactive vines, arches and ferns. The largest of the robots tower over 5 meters high.
Glowbot Garden is being brought to the Strand in January as a result of a collaboration between King’s Culture, Estates and Facilities and the Department for Engineering. The event is being generously supported by The Northbank BID, with additional advice and expertise from Westminster City Council. It is as part of a programme of educational and creative commissions activity in the Strand Aldwych area intended to connect the public and local communities with life-long learning, research, art and performance.
A free, outdoor display.
17 – 20 January 2024, 12noon – 8pm daily.
Located in the pedestrianised area adjacent to King’s College London Strand Campus, Strand, WC2R 1ES.
This experience will be subject to weather. Visitors are advised to check @CulturalKings on the day for confirmation.
FREE Events linked with Glowbot Garden
There's a range of exciting free events as part of Glowbot Garden. Explore all our linked events here.
Strand Aldwych, which is where the event is taking place, is a fully accessible space. There are no raised pavements or curbs between the event entrance and the event space and all of the event is taking place on one level.
There are extra wide pavements either side of the event space and the area is well served by both public transport and taxi ranks. There is plenty of space between all of the robots so everyone can move around freely.
The robots will be at a suitable height for everyone to be able to touch, hug and interact with them.
There are public toilet facilities available at either end of the event space. A public toilet (including disabled toilet) is positioned at the east end of the event space, outside 180 studios. There are also free public toilets and changing facilities inside Somerset House which will be accessible during the opening hours of the event.
If using public transport, we recommend using TfL route planner to plan your journey.
Public and private transport options available include:
- Two taxi ranks within a 3 minute walk of the event. One on Aldwych (Catherine Street), and another on Aldwych (One Aldwych Hotel)
- Buses going South (Penge, Elephant and Castle and Waterloo) from Lancaster Place which is just around the corner
- Buses going to North,South ,East & West London destinations from Aldwych bus stops
- National Rail and Thameslink Services from Blackfriars, a 17 minute walk, and National Rail Services from Charing Cross, a 15 minute walk.
- London Underground service from Temple, a 5 minute walk, and Embankment, a 15 minute walk
Please check public transport information on the day for latest information.
Our team in the blue vests will be always on hand if you need help, directions, or want to know more about the creatures in the Glowbot Garden.
Part of Glowbot Garden is Unfurl which was supported by Without Walls and commissioned by Norfolk and Norwich Festival, Timber Festival and Greenwich and Docklands International Festival.
Glowbot Garden: inspired by a residency at King's
Air Giants, acclaimed for being the first company in the world making interactive soft robotics at scale, were in residence at King’s College London in 2022 with the Department of Engineering, supported by King’s Culture. Air Giants collaborated with King’s robotics researchers and students to explore how we might develop the next generation of robots that learn by interacting with humans.
The residency, rooted in research led by Dr Oya Celiktutan, Head of the Social AI & Robotics Lab within the Department of Engineering, uses the theory of Proxemics - the study of how humans use space as a form of non-verbal communication - to explore how motion, distance and space might facilitate effective communication between humans and robots.
Following the residency, a new robot called Sprout, designed collaboratively between King’s students and Air Giants was included in the exhibition AI: Who's Looking After Me? at Science Gallery London, King’s flagship public gallery space, which runs until 20 January.
Strand, London, WC2R 2LS