Saturday, 23 October 2010

Underground Maps Unravelled - Maxwell Roberts

Scott Brownrigg - Architectural Studio


Fortunately I came across this exhibition on TimeOut London's website, and it was the last day to go and see it (22/10/2010.) Refreshingly it wasn't a gallery space but a foyer to the company's reception. An exploration into the London Tube Map, Maxwell Roberts is a psychologist and designer at the University of Essex. He re-created the modern map in different styles to explain each design feature and aspect of why the design works or if it doesn't. From the original design by Henry Beck, who set the standard for the London Map format to his own experimental versions exploring topography.

History of The Map - Experimental Variations

Non-Linear - Henry Beck

The exhibition gave me an insight map-making and how the balance of usefulness and aesthetics need to be considered to create an effective map. Also the idea that topography can be distorted so that congested areas can be shown more clearly. Experimentation needs to happen, to show what works and what doesnt. I will consider these factors when I try my own map work.

Useful Books

Mr.Beck's Underground Map - Ken Garland
Underground Maps After Beck - Maxwell J. Roberts

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