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.

Date: 21 November to 18 February
Weaving Futures runs from November to February and focuses on digital jacquard woven textile design & moquette concepts, curated in partnership with research and design industry experts Philippa Brock and Samuel Plant Dempsey. You’ll get to see a state of the art digital loom in action, through residencies with established designers, including Wallace Sewell, Assemble, Brock + Dempsey, Beatwoven, Camira, Central Saint Martins, Eleanor Pritchard, Gainsborough Silk Weaving Company, Kirsty McDougall & Laura Miles, Linda Florence, Studio Houndstooth, Takram and Priti Veja and more. (Full Weaving Futures programme coming soon).

web latedebates

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

Join some of the finest minds behind London’s underground design. Learn how design shapes our experiences and the impact it has on how we travel. A fun packed evening of circuit training for the brain, through interactive debates, talks and workshops, alongside our iconic museum collection, music, a bar and the chance to explore our latest Designology exhibition.