Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Metro Maps and Architecture of the World talk

Tuesday, me and the guys from Tube Relief (Annie, Stephen, Fimb and Neil) attended the Metro Maps and Architecture of the World talk by Mark Ovenden and Max Roberts at Central Saint Martins College. Annie was scribbling away furiously in her notebook next to me (you can read more here and here). While the talk was mainly on the design and architecture of the London Underground, Mark also covered Metro systems from around the world - mainly those in Western Europe.

The talk revealed a couple of interesting information for my research into European graphic design of the early 1900s. The typography issue is an interesting one. I will have to look more into Parisians' uneasy relationship with different typeface.

I have to admit, Max's talk on alternative (and usually ripped-off) LU maps was very interesting. Apparently travel guide publishers, mainly from overseas, have their own alternative maps to cater for different cultures. I can't see why they would be bothered - judging by some of the design - nothing I have seen will ever best Harry Beck's iconic diagram.

A very European interpretation of the LU. With many mistakes.


A couple of weeks ago I was issued with an internal access RFID card. I had misgivings about another RFID card in my wallet as this may interfere with those Oyster card readers on the LU. True enough on Monday when I swiped my wallet on the reader, the system flashed the red 'Seek assistance' notice before the barriers finally opened. A grand total waste of 1.5 seconds. And this morning I had a problem entering a bus before the reader finally accepted my Oyster card after I removed my access card from my wallet.

Anybody else has problems keeping their Oyster card along side other access cards with embedded radio tags?

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