"Tivo-ifies the web" Paul Kedrosky

Design Classics, The London Underground Map

There was a period, between the wars, when European refugees like Gropius stopped in Britain. This stimulated a brief flourishing of modernism resulting in the design aesthetic of London public transport, from the Routemaster bus (the only piece of British ‘architecture’ that Corbusier liked) to moderne Tube stations such as Arnos Grove.

But the pinnacle of London Transport’s modernist design was the Tube map which rearranged distances to produce a supremely navigable schematic diagram that is little changed today. (I have been looking for this documentary for ages).


26 comments on “Design Classics, The London Underground Map

  1. Ehud says:

    Now this is why we love Smashing Telly.

    1. i love smashing telly too.

  2. NYC says:


  3. mistergach says:

    Excellent! Thanks a lot.

  4. Nappies says:

    Oh this is great TV, get this guy on the BBC now!

  5. titan says:

    lovely spotlight, but did anyone else notice the steady increase in (print) registration throughout versions of the map as well? The humble observations of a print designer.

  6. It is really extraordinary lucid and it is almost impossible to improve it! It’s an amazing work!!!

  7. Sophie Williams says:

    I loved this documentry and it was very helpful for my university assignment. The only thing I am missing is a date when this documentry was aired… can anybody help?

  8. Martin Kenny says:

    Good stuff :-)

    @Sophie Williams: The copyright date at the end of the programme is 1987, and according to the IMDB (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0989634/), the original air-date was 29 June 1987.

  9. Adam Smith says:

    Enjoyable film. The underground network is always interesting to watch/read/learn about!

  10. John Thomas says:

    cheerio. great analysis of diagram that holds such itinerant utility.

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  13. Malinka says:

    It doesn't run, unfortunately. But there's cartoon porn in the comment field – yay! (NOT.)

  14. Andrew says:

    The video doesn't appear to work, but there's also a copy here if that helps:

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  18. MattPowell says:

    hey you know that a Documentary about the London Underground Map, created in 1931 by Henry Beck..


  19. MattPowell says:

    hey you know that a Documentary about the London Underground Map, created in 1931 by Henry Beck..

  20. Oh… the file removed! I'd like to see it so much. Can you fix it?

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