A Bench For Balham: Balham Does It Better

Inspired by the iconic ‘I amsterdam’ sign, and the ‘I heart NY’ logo, artist David McLoughlin has transformed a bench on Bedford Hill in Balham into an artistic landmark, both physically and digitally, using Augmented Reality technology in collaboration with Blippar.


The #BalhamBench was the winning concept submitted in response to Wandsworth Council’s callout for ideas to creatively animate a high street bench in June 2022. It was installed on 6 October 2022.

The new eye-catching vinyl covering on the bench displays the words ‘BALHAM DOES IT BETTER’ and, when you scan the QR code and point your phone at the bench, an augmented 3D graphic saying ‘SOUTH WEST IS BEST’ with spinning hearts appears on the screen, bringing the bench to life.

How to enjoy the Balham Bench Augmented Reality feature:

  • Scan the QR code on the bench
  • Allow access to camera
  • Allow access to device motion and orientation
  • Point your camera at the bench
  • Tap the target symbol
  • The AR graphic will appear
  • Take a picture!
  • Download and share using #BalhamBench

About David McLoughlin

David McLoughlin is an Irish creative, based in Wandsworth, with experience in the UK, Ireland and Australia. He’s been involved in designing projects from corporate companies and private employers to creative agencies. 

About Blippar

Blippar is a leading technology content company specialising in Augmented Reality, with the vision to make AR accessible for all. Their goal is to empower everyone – from bedroom developers to advanced creatives and brands, studios and system integrators – to create, experience and share AR that is accessible from anywhere in this world.

Visit Blippar’s website: Augmented Reality (AR) | Blippar