In the vein of the great history of British satire we announce a free-to-enter and totally open ideas competition for A FOLLY FOR LONDON, alternative and equally absurd designs for the public space being sacrificed for the proposed Garden Bridge.

To be as accessible as possible the brief for the competition is very short and the format for entering is simple. This is about creative responses and thinking about the city rather than jumping through hoops and following strict rules.

Think about the best piece of transport infrastructure and design on which you could spend £60m of public money for the environmental and community benefit of London. Then reverse those ideals and design your perfect Folly For London.



The competition period runs from 7th July and closes at midnight 6th September.



Your design should seek to fulfill as many of the following criteria as possible:

    • Cost at least £60million of public money to construct; proposals may cost much more, but if so be sure to add vague promises of private funding.
    • Take up as much of the site (marked in red) as possible. This is existing public greenspace and it needs to be built on. Your design should narrow the Thames footpath resulting in maximum overcrowding and removing as much existing nature from the site. There are mature trees here, but don’t worry about them – feel free to remove them.
    • Largely use environmentally damaging and unsustainable materials in its construction, and the best Folly to have the pretence of being a ‘green’ project will be eligible for a special ‘greenwash’ prize.
    • Obstruct as many free and accessible views as possible from the South Bank and Waterloo Bridge. Think about those wonderful vantages of St. Pauls and Somerset House. Now block them!
    • Your Folly should aim to maximise commercial land values and raise house prices in the immediate vicinity.



At the culmination of competition period, there will be a pop-up exhibition featuring a selection of the entries and a distinguished panel of judges will convene to choose the best Folly For London.

The judges of A Folly For London are:

Natalie Bennett

Natalie has been leader of the Green Party of England and Wales since 2012. A former journalist, she left the industry in 2012 when elected leader, she led the party to the highest share of the national vote since its formation.

Owen Hatherley

Owen is a writer and journalist interested predominantly in architecture and politics. His books A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain (LINK)and A New Kind of Bleak (LINK) are a must-read for anyone learning to read the architecture and tangled politics of contemporary British cities. His new book, Landscapes of Communism, has just been published (LINK). Away from books, he writes for The Guardian, Building Design, Icon, London Review of Books, New Humanist, New Statesman and many more.

Martin Rowson

Martin is a political cartoonist, writer and visual journalist. His instantly identifiable work has been published in numerous newspapers and he has been editorial cartoonist of The Guardian since 1994. He considers his visceral style to directly follow from the 18th century tradition of satirists. His most recent published book is an updated version of Gulliver’s Travels (LINK).




All you need to do is put your idea down on two sheets of A4 or A3 paper in any style you want to work with – sketching, watercolour, computer render, CAD drawing, montage, photographs of a model or any other process.

Then, separately, write down a description of your design in up to 250 words and then either post or email your idea to us using the contact details below.
You are more than welcome to enter anonymously if you so wish, but if you want to be eligible for the prizes then do please include your name and contact details for administrative purposes which we promise not to make public.



You can be based anywhere in the world, no restrictions.
Group entries are welcome.
You do not need to have any qualifications – we welcome entries from schoolchildren to professors and everyone between.
You must be the author of submitted work in respect of all rights in the work including ownership, copyright, moral rights, the rights of the people, names, trademarks, designs or works of art depicted
You agree that the work and words submitted may be exhibited both digitally and physically in galleries.
A Folly For London reserves the right to use the submitted entries in various media for non-commercial purposes & promotion of A Folly For London/campaigning against the Garden Bridge.
Works will not be returned and will be phsyically & digitally archived by for A Folly For London for future public record.
The author will be credited for their work, wherever practical, unless anonymity is requested.
The author will retain complete copyright of their work and words.
A Folly For London shall not be liable for any loss or damage of posted work, whether or not caused by their negligence.

Proof of posting will not be accepted as proof of receipt.
Applicants requiring proof of delivery are advised to use a recorded delivery service.
All costs incurred by postal/courier services (including customs charges and any import duties) must be paid for in advance by the artist. After will refuse to take delivery of any work that may incur charges.

Details of the dates and modes of exhibition will be announced closer to the close of the competition.
A panel of judges, including architectural writer and critic Owen Hatherley and leader of the Green Party Natalie Bennett, will convene to choose an overall winner and ‘greenwash’ winner.
Prizes will be announced in due course, though we cannot guarantee  any public funding, sly behind-the-scenes negotiations or endorsements by celebrities to have your Folly For London constructed.