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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.

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Designology Studio

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.  

Full programme of events (Aug-Sep): Beyond the surface [1.85 MB]

Over the coming year we will be exploring three themes:

  • Social Behaviour, Wayfinding, Data and Mapping (May – July 2016)
  • Surface Design (August – September 2016)
  • Underground & Moquette Design (October 2016 – February 2017)

Most events run on Saturday and start at 11:00 and 14:00, however there are some weekday events, so do check the programme for more details.

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. Audiences and visitors will be encouraged to get as involved as possible, and will leave each event with a greater understanding of the complexity behind making design decisions for public transport in London.

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Late Debate: Social behaviour and mapping

Date: Thursday 28 July 2016
Time: 18:45 to 22:00
Location: Covent Garden
Price: Adults £12; Concessions and LTM Friends £10

Book tickets

Full Programme [381 KB]

Enjoy an evening of circuit training for the brain at London Transport Museum’s first ever Late Debate which takes place on the evening of Thursday 28 July. Guests will be able to join a choice of interactive debates and workshops, as well as enjoy a bar, music and the Museum’s new Designology exhibition.

Debates and talks

The Late Debate will explore social behaviour and mapping with over 15 speakers and panellists on four keynote debates:

  • Design values: Six industry experts will have just five minutes to present their case on continued public investment in transport design - after which you, the audience, can interrogate the panel.
  • Data - risk or reward?: Some see boundless possibilities while others see risk and exploitation. During this very interactive debate, smart city open data experts will argue about whether the risk is worth the reward.
  • The big squeeze: London’s population is set to increase from 8.4 million to around 10 million by 2030. In this debate the audience become dragons in a den of leading industry experts who will pitch their ideas for innovation and solutions to the Big Squeeze.
  • Tube map challenge: Join Professor Max Roberts, internationally renowned professor of psychology and mapping expert, in conversation with Londonist Video Journalist, Geoff Marshall, as they take the audience on a journey through the creative opportunities, flaws and psychology of maps.


As well as debates and talks there will also be interactive sessions and workshops, giving participants the chance to explore and create as well as enjoy the Museum and network with other guests.

  • Create an alternative tube map: Get hands on and create your own ‘Max Robert’s inspired’ alternative Tube map from everyday objects.
  • Create an animation: Check out the new animation created by Transport for London’s Visual Service animator, Nina Radivoeva then have a go at creating your own.
  • The accessibility trail: Go on a digital accessibility trail around the Museum and find out how Wayfindr and CoderDoJo are helping visually impaired people access London.  
  • Redundant space: Eyesore or opportunity? Meet TfL Design and Communities Manager Ann Gavaghan and find out how TfL is repurposing redundant space on the network and share you creative ideas during a fun brainstorming activity.
  • Legible London - Legible Museum: Meet TfL’s Legible London team and discover how they have been helping London Transport Museum to become a Legible Museum. Have a go at mapping and give your feedback.
  • FutureFest: Get an insight into what's coming up at FutureFest 2016. Hosted by innovation foundation Nesta, this is a weekend festival of radical ideas designed to inspire people to change the future.

Panelists and speakers

Our speakers include senior representatives from include senior representatives from London Transport Museum and Transport for London; Professor of Psychology Max Roberts; Director for Architecture at Arup Nille Juul-Sorensen; Transport Planner and Associate Director at Arup Susan Claris; Royal London Society for the Blind Chief Executive Dr. Tom Pey; Cubic Transportation Systems Director Martin Howell; Technology Futures Senior Researcher at Nesta Harry Armstrong; Foundling Partner and Partner at Weston Williamson Rob Naybour and Chris Williamson; Associate Director at Movement Strategies Charlie Parker; Research Associate Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis Chen Zhong; Manager of the All Party Parliamentary Design & Innovation Group at Policy Connect Jack Tindale; Founder and Director at IF, Sarah Gold, and Londonist Video Journalist Geoff Marshall.