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Friday, September 07, 2012

The tube map - as a radio circuit board

Oh look, yet another variant of the London Underground tube map, how tediou.... oh, my goodness, that one's rather good!

An "artist in residence" at the Design Museum,
Yuri Suzuki -- in collaboration with Masahiko Shindo -- has built this circuit board based tube map.


But no mere aesthetic concept, it is also a fully functioning radio. Fortunately, the river is described as part of the electronics, as I doubt actual water would have been a wise idea.

The layout reminds me of an electronics toy I had as a kid, which I slightly miss as it comes from the days when being able to read the colour codes on resisters was considered a valued skill as opposed to today where it would probably be hipster nerdishness. A bit of hunting around on the web and some luck with google keywords tells me that the "toy" was the Gakken EX-System which encourages you to experiment with building electric circuits.

Nostalgia!

Incidentally, the story that Harry Beck based his original map design on the electronic circuit board is a myth. There is indeed a Beck style circuit board design tube map in the archives, but it was apparently a joke that was presented to him long after the tube map had been adopted by London Transport.



The artist in residence programme runs until next January, and the circuit board tube map will also be on display at the late-night opening on the 21st September.


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