TWENTY-ONE DNA inspired double helix sculptures have appeared across London as part of Cancer Research UK’s campaign to raise awareness and funds for the Francis Crick Institute, a world-leading centre of biomedical research and innovation due to open in 2016.

The sculptures have been designed by leading artists, designers and sculptors from across the world, including Ai WeiWei, Thierry Noir, Zaha Hadid, Orla Kiely, Jane Morgan and twins Chris and Xand van Tulleken. Each of the designers was asked ‘what’s in your DNA?’ and the results are a mixture of intriguing and colourful designs that are sure to brighten up London this summer.


The sculptures will be based at some of London’s most iconic locations, including Trafalgar Square, Parliament Square and St Paul’s Cathedral. The trail will attract art enthusiasts, families and London workers alike, and not only is each sculpture a unique design, each also has a fun fact about DNA on the base. For example, did you know you share about 90 per cent of your DNA with a mouse, and about 50 per cent with a banana?

The trail will be live throughout August, with the sculptures then being auctioned at Christie’s in September. All the money raised will go towards the £100million that Cancer Research UK has pledged to raise for the Crick, a world-leading centre of biomedical research and innovation which will house more than 1,200 leading scientists from a variety of disciplines working together under one roof to tackle the biggest health challenges faced by humankind.

Dedicated to research excellence, the Crick will have the scale, vision and expertise to tackle challenging scientific questions underpinning health and disease. Due for completion in late 2015, The Francis Crick Institute is a visionary collaboration between six of the world’s leading medical research organisations: Cancer Research UK, the Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, UCL (University College London), King’s College London and Imperial College London.

It will be world-class with a strong national role – training scientists and developing ideas for public good.

The inspiration was Francis Crick, one of the people to discover the DNA double helix, alongside James Watson and Maurice Wilkins, and based on the work of Rosalind Franklin. It is thought to be one of the most significant discoveries in modern science and has transformed our understanding of the human body and disease. Crick was noted for his intelligence, openness to new ideas and collaborations with scientists working in different fields of expertise which are founding principles for the institute.


People can get involved and buy one of these sculptures at a special auction. For more information visit

This is the list of sculptures on the London trail:

1& 2 Ai WeiWei
Christie’s window, 85 Old Brompton Rd, SW7 3LD
Darren Baker Gallery window, 81 Charlotte Street, W1T 4PP
3. Andrew Logan – Festival Gardens, St Paul’s, EC4M 8AD
4. Aston Martin – Cardinal Place window, 80 Victoria Street, SW1E 5JL (available early July)
5. Benjamine Shine – St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, Euston Road, NW1 2AR (available early July)
6. Chris and Xand van Tulleken – Victoria Station, near WH Smith SW1E 5ND
7. Darren Baker – Trafalgar Square, WC2H 0HE
8. Guy Portelli – Royal Albert Hall, South Steps, SW7 2AP
9. Ian Callum, Director of Design, Jaguar – South Kensington Station,?Pelham Street, SW7 2NB
10. Jane Morgan – Coutts window, The Strand,sWC2Ro0QS
11. Leyla Aliyeva – King’s Cross Station, near Leon, N1C 4TB
12. Mayor of Westminster – Great George Street, outside No. 10, SW1P 3AE
13. Michael Howells – Top of South Molton Street, Bond Street
14. Nick Gentry – Barbican Centre, Foyer of Cinema 2 & 3, Beech Street, EC2Y 8DS?
15. Orla Kiely – Dovehouse Green, King’s Road, SW3 5UF
16. Pilar Enrich – Trafalgar Square, WC2H 0HE
17. Ross Brawn – Peter’s Hill, St Paul’s, EC4V 5EY
18. Ted Baker – Broadwick Street, W1F 9PE
19. Thierry Noir – Duke of York Square, King’s Road, SW3 4LY
20. Tim Ashley – Waterloo Station, outside M&S, SE1 8SW
21. Zaha Hadid – Somerset House, WC2R 1LA?

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