web banner designology


Open now

Discover the art and aesthetics behind the functional and familiar at our new exhibition designology which opens on Friday 20 May 2016.

The exhibition will explore how design is encountered in our everyday journeys and how this has evolved over the last century, as well as looking at how our travel experiences might develop in the future. From the visual to the virtual and from Victorian engineering genius to modernist masterpieces, designology will uncover the fascinating designs and processes behind London’s moving metropolis.

Publicity and communication, architecture, technology, engineering, service operation and the urban environment will be explored, demonstrating how every aspect of the Capital’s transport system and the passenger journey have been thoughtfully designed since the early years of the 20th century.

Highlights of the exhibition will include posters from the golden age of travel, historic maps, tickets and signage, and a pop up design Studio where visitors will be able to find out more about contemporary design innovation. As visitors make their way through the exhibition they will begin to recognise the underlying design that surrounds them - design hidden by its familiarity in everyday life.

Visitors to designology can also enjoy London by Design, the Museum’s new permanent gallery which celebrates key moments and important milestones in London’s transport design heritage and shows how British art and design have become deeply and inextricably bound with London’s transport network.

web banner designstudio


Come and take part in our year-long public programme of events, situated in the ‘pop-up’ designer’s Studio integrated into our temporary Designology exhibition. The programme will be actively exploring how good design makes life in London better, through residencies and participatory workshops. Events include interactive 1-day residencies, design projects and challenges. You will get to meet a wide range of real designers and experts in the field and discover more about TfL’s design influences, ethics, branding & principles. Over the coming year we will be exploring three themes:

  • Social Behaviour, Wayfinding, Data and Mapping (May – July 2016)
  • Beyond the Surface (August – September 2016)
  • Designing the Tube (October 2016 – February 2017)

Entry to the Studio and the programme of events is included in the cost of museum entry and tickets are valid for the whole programme.

Late Debates

We will also host three end of theme Late Debate events. These symposia-style events will focus on the particular topics and themes that have been explored in the studio over the past months and will feature invited speakers, panel discussions and workshops.     

Studio programme

Designing the Tube runs from October to November and explores how the principles of good design enable us to travel on an attractive, safe and well-connected underground network, improving our experiences of visiting, working and living in London.

Full programme: Designing the Tube [2.52 MB]

Date: 21-22 October
Time: 14:00–16:00 
Explore Transport for London’s beautiful Underground Station Design Idiom and find out how it aims to inspire and conserve great design in all new Underground projects, regardless of scale. Then, to celebrate ‘Big Draw’ month, join us in creating a giant sketch of your favourite designs on the Underground, inspired by the Idiom’s beautiful hand drawn illustrations. 

Date: 10 November 
Time: 11:00–13:00 and 14:00–16:00 
Have you ever had an idea about how transport services could be provided more efficiently and cheaply, or with improved customer service and experience? Take part in an active session with Atkins to explore how Mobility as a Service, and the integration of multimodal transport options through a digital platform, could reimagine the future of travel.

Date: 16 November 
Time: 11:00–13:30
Gain an understanding of the role of design within complex, large-scale infrastructure projects currently under construction in London. Led by architects Euan Russell and Helen Davis from Grimshaw, this hands-on workshop will provide a unique insight into the multidisciplinary working environment of two major projects: Crossrail and the Northern Line Extension. Explore the challenges and opportunities encountered when designing from the scale of the city down to industrial design components.

web inline weavingfutures

Weaving futures

21 November 2016 to 18 February 2017

Full programme: Weaving futures [2.5 MB]

Between November 2016 and February 2017, London Transport Museum will be highlighting the importance and potential of woven textiles to the London Transport system, through a programme called Weaving Futures, curated by design industry experts Philippa Brock and Samuel Plant Dempsey.

Resident artists and designers will explore the role of textiles in modern transport now and in the future. They will focus on ‘untapped’ sources of data generated by, or helpful to, the transport system. Their responses will then be interpreted into woven textiles, live for museum visitors. 

Weaving Futures events will take place every week in the Museum’s pop-up Designology Studio. All day-time events are drop-in and free to attend with the annual London Transport Museum admission ticket. 

Artistic approaches will include drawing, photography, film, sound, mark-making and model making. Designology Studio residents include: 

  • Wallace Sewell; designers of contemporary Moquette seating fabric for Transport for London – 22 and 26 November
  • Assemble; Turner Prize winning collective of artists, architects and designers – 06 and 08 December
  • Camira; producers of London’s best known urban fabrics, including a million meters of Moquette a year – 09 and 10 December
  • Gainsborough Weaving; a company with 100 years of successive weaving experience – 13 and 14 December
  • Research collaboration with Brock, Dempsey and Veja; combined experts in woven jacquard and haptics, industrial product design and woven e-textiles, wearable technology and smart textiles - 25, 26 and 30 January
  • BeatWoven; avant-garde designers who use song and sound to create their textile designs – 9 and 10 February

Other designers include Eleanor Pritchard, Ismini Samanidou, Linda Florence, Josephine Ortega, Rare Threads, Studio Houndstooth, Takram and Textile design degree students from Central Saint Martins, University of The Arts London.

web inline latedebate module

Late Debate: Designing the Tube 

Date: Thursday 26 January 2017
Time: 18:45 – 22:30
Location: Covent Garden
Price: Adults £12; Concessions and LTM Friends £10

Enter EARLY241 at checkout and get 2 tickets for the price of 1. Offer available for a limited time only.

Book tickets

Give your brain a New Year workout during London Transport Museum’s fun Late Debate on the evening of 26 January 2017. Guests will be able to enjoy interactive debates, talks and workshops, as well as a bar, live music and the Museum’s special Designology exhibition.

Debates and talks

Guests will have the chance to join one of four keynote talks and debates by leading industry experts, designers and authors.

  • Off the Rails: Learning from the past and influencing the future: In this panel discussion, expert historians, authors and contemporary designers will explore designing for the railways, sharing learning from past and debating recommendations for the future.
  • Connect or forget: Powered by New London Architecture: Work with New London Architecture and a panel of expert speakers to consider how the Tube, and wider transport network, has the ability to connect or forget regions and communities.
  • Delight and surprise: Explore how our journeys can be impacted through moments of delight and surprise, and how such moments make us a world class leader in design. Give your views on how important it is for our stations to celebrate heritage, promote a sense of nature, engage with art and culture, and make an impact through well curated advertising.
  • Tales from Weaving Futures: Powered by PechaKucha*: Enjoy a PechaKucha of textile tales, design debates and weaving wonders. All brought to you by the designers, artists and industry professionals involved the Designology Weaving Futures studio programme.

Serious play and entertainment

As well as debates and talks guests can get involved in some fun but serious play, offering the chance to explore and create, as well as enjoy the Museum and network with other guests. Serious play activity includes:

  • Live music: Busking sounds of voice, harmonica and hammered dulcimer extraordinaire Ben Henry Edwards, accompanied by Sam Lewis.
  • Network mapping: Work with New London Architecture in a giant mapping activity. Use coloured threads to highlight and explore the web of our combined modes, routes and communities across London, inspired by the Connect or Forget debate.
  • Secrets behind the Tube map: Work with Tube obsessed Londonist Video Journalist Geoff Marshall to explore the history, anomalies and oddities of our much loved London Underground Map. Then have a go at creating your own Tube map for London.
  • Illustrate an idiom: Explore station design through our new Crossrail exhibition and Transport for London’s beautiful Underground Station Design Idiom. Then have fun coming up with your own station designs and idiom illustrations.
  • Digital weaving: Drop into the Designology studio and meet our resident Weaving Futures curators and weavers. Watch live weaving on a state-of-the-art TC2 digital jacquard loom and try your hand at a ‘weave inspired’ activity.
  • Meet the authors and designers: Meet David Lawrence, author of British Rail Designed 1948-97, Nick Tyler, author of Accessibility and the Bus System: Transforming the World and Wallace Henning, Designer at Koto, who has just succeeded in reproducing the British Rail Corporate Identity Manual.

Hosts and speakers in alphabetical order include: David Lawrence, Kingston University professor and author; Declan McCafferty, Partner at Grimshaw Architects; Dominique Caplan, Gainsborough Weaving; Geoff Marshall, Londonist Video Journalist; Glenn Iceton, Group Agency Sales Director, Exterion Media; Jessica Vaughan, Curator of Art on the Underground; Larissa Kunstel-Tabet and Renee Verhoeven, Takram; Linda Florence, printed textile designer and senior lecturer Central Saint Martins; Mike Ashworth, Design & Heritage Manager at London Underground; Mike Walton, London Transport Museum; Nick Tyler, University College London professor and author; Paul Priestman Designer, Chairman of PriestmanGoode; Peter Murray, Chairman of New London Architecture; Philippa Brock, Weaveshed; Sam Richards, Head of Urban Integration at Crossrail; Samuel Dempsey, Product & Critical Designer; Wallace Henning, Designer at Koto and reproducer of the British Rail Corporate Identity Manual; Will Sandy, Edible Bus stop.

Other speakers and contributors to be announced in January 2017.


  • 18:45 – Doors open
  • 19:00 – 19:45 Tales from Weaving Futures - PechaKucha 1
  • 19:15 – Serious play
  • 20:00-21:00 – Debates
  • 21:00 – Serious play
  • 21:15 – 22:00 Tales from Weaving Futures - PechaKucha 2
  • 22:30 – Doors close