UCL News


UCL Letters 2023 Competition Winner

25 July 2023

Congratulations to recent MFA graduate Yiwen Li, whose design for UCL's standalone large-scale letters was unveiled in front of the Portico on the Main Quad on 3 July.

UCL sign in blue colour in front of the main quad.

The UCL letters have increasingly become a part of the campus landscape and will remain in the Main Quad throughout the summer, providing a perfect photo opportunity for any visitors to the Bloomsbury campus.

The competition for students at the Slade School of Fine Art was set up in recognition of the interest from students across the year and particularly during the graduation period to create memories of their time at UCL. They are also vital tools in signposting, with the letters acting as an “arrival point” to students and visitors on campus.

The competition to design the letters, which was announced at the beginning of this year, was a collaborative project between UCL Campus Experience & Infrastructure (CE&I) team and the Slade. The project was facilitated by Sam Wilkinson, Head of Public Art, UCL, Slade's Jo Volley, Deputy Director (Projects), and Giles Corby.

Jo Volley, Deputy Director (Projects) said:

“We are pleased to give our students the opportunity to participate in this public art project. Congratulations to the winners on their designs! Many thanks to Sam Wilkinson and UCL Estates Campus Experience & Infrastructure for supporting this project. The UCL large letter sign is now an iconic part of the UCL estate, and an integral part of student, staff and public's experience – especially now at graduation time."

Tracy Smith (Director of Campus Experience and Commercial Services) said:

“Campus Experience are working with colleagues across UCL to develop collaborative projects that inspire students to create work that enhances our campus and community engagement. This project was particularly successful, as the final artwork unveiling created the perfect backdrop for new graduates (and others) to take memorable photos on the Main Quad.”

Student winner, Yiwen Li, said:

“I am so honoured to have my design selected by the UCL letters competition. It’s been a pleasant cooperation with UCL Team and a massive relief to have their support with the process and installation. Thank you so much for this great opportunity!”

Following the success of this initial project, CE&I will be leading a festive bauble competition at UCL. The winning bauble design will be featured at the Festive Lights Switch-On in November in the Main Quad and there are plans in motion for it to be produced as a limited-edition item from the UCL shop. Watch this space for more information!

We look forward to seeing the other winning designs around UCL in the future, as we continue to co-produce with students and staff to improve the campus experience for all.