New Artist Commissions – Journeys 2012

In one year from today London Transport Museum will open a major exhibition for 2012 that will draw on our outstanding historic map collection, exploring the theme of Journeys. Along with historic maps we’ll be displaying some fantastic newly commissioned artworks by artists such as Stephen Walter, Simon Patterson, Susan Stockwell, Jeremy Wood and Agnes Poitevin-Navarre, with more to artists to be confirmed. 

Want to be involved? A number of these projects will be shaped using public content, meaning that you’ll be able to contribute directly to the artworks. Stephen Walter, for example, is currently asking for your comments for his Subterranean Map of London.

There are some seriously exciting projects underway and we’ll be posting regularly on their development. Stay tuned…

Installing a new Poster Parade

Every few months, London Transport Museum installs a new series of 20 original posters from our collection on the first floor of the Museum. These poster parades are themed – sometimes by the season or a special event taking place, sometimes by temporary exhibitions happening elsewhere in the Museum, or sometimes to promote a project the Museum has undertaken.

Curators and museum technicians need to be in the Museum bright and early so that the installation can be completed before the doors open at 10am. This morning, a team installed 20 posters who represent some of the strongest and most iconic designs from our collection. The display showcases and celebrates our book ‘London Transport Posters: A Century of Art and Design’, which will be coming out in paperback in the coming weeks.

Information about the book can be found at our online shop: http://www.ltmuseumshop.co.uk/ltm/books/art_and_design.html

Collecting for 2013 – an introduction

In 2013 the Underground will be 150 years old. London Transport Museum is busily preparing a year long programme of events, exhibitions and heritage train runs to celebrate the anniversary. We are also embarking on a new programme of work which involves collecting contemporary material, allowing us to bring our collection up to date.

Over the next few months, I will be undertaking a number of projects with Transport for London staff and members of the public. Whenever an interesting new object or story is collected, I will be sure to blog about it here. From oral history and digital stories, to contemporary art and participatory events, it’s going to be a great year for contemporary collecting!

And I welcome any suggestions you may have about what we should be collecting that represents the Underground today!

Copyright TfL London Transport Museum

Collecting for 2013 – Windsor House display installation

As part of the Collecting for 2013 project, I am keen to know what staff who currently work for London Underground think of our collections, and for them to offer their suggestions as to what we need to collect now. Last week, my colleague Simon and I took some Underground related objects to Windsor House, a Transport for London office, and installed a new display in their reception area. Objects include a modern Oyster card holder, an old tile from St James’s Park station, and a model of the first Metropolitan line trains.

We’re asking staff to let us know what they think we should collect for this significant anniversary, and we hope these objects will offer some inspiration.

Here are a few photos of us installing the display.

Sense and the City – Get Involved!

Runs until  18 March 2012

This summer a new exhibition about London will open at the museum – and you could be part of it!

Sense & the City explores the powerful new forces that are shaping the way we live, work and travel in the city.  GPS, pervasive wireless, sensing, near field communication, multi touch surfaces, open data, smart phones and a blizzard of new Apps are combining to redefine our urban relationships.  Data visualisation is beginning to work with these digital riches to help us make deals, be sociable, navigate and network in powerful new ways. There is a wind of change in London – Sense & the City will harvest straws in that wind and test which of them have most significance for the future.

How can you help?  If you or your company has an App or a visualisation you’d like to showcase then please get in touch with us.  There are several sections to the exhibition but we’d particularly like help with an area with eight 32” touch screens for which we have designed a GUI fronting a Content Management System. We’re focusing on urban movement and connection. The topics we’re covering on the screens are:

  • Re-seeing the city – The beautiful and instructive world of data visualisation
  • Open data – What does the ‘democratisation’ of data mean? And how do we deal with privacy and protection concerns?
  • Real time – How does real time information from the Capital’s systems change urban behaviour?
  • Fluid payment – Contactless easy payment systems change much more than financial transactions
  • Mobility – Will crowd sourced transport become real? What is the future for autonomous personal vehicles?  Is there a ‘cycling tipping point’ when machine powered vehicles naturally give way to human powered ones?
  • Sociability – How is social media changing the way we use London?  How are new markets opening up?  Is the future of business more social?
  • Navigational signage – Sensing and information carrying surfaces are changing the information provided to travellers – how far can this go?
  • Blue Sky – How might we live, work and create in London of the Future?

The interface allows us to show a range of visualisations – we are focusing on movement systems and London.

How to get in touch
In the first instance email us with information about your work – pointing to your site, linking to Vimeo clips and any App store links. We are not definitely promising that you’ll be in the exhibition but we’d like to hear from you.  If we like what we see and it fits then we’ll be back in touch.

For any questions about the exhibition contact the Curator for the show Stephen Feber at: stephen.feber@ltmuseum.co.uk

For any technical questions abut the exhibition contact Charles Dodgson at: charles.dodgson@ltmuseum.co.uk

Thank you!

HLF Stage 1 Award for Project 353

London Transport Museum has received a Stage 1 Development grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to support the preparation of a Museum bid to the HLF for the restoration of our Metropolitan Railway ‘Jubilee’ First class carriage No.353.

The decision to restore the carriage will be announced later this summer. If all goes to plan we hope we will be able to include the restored carriage in the year-long series of exhibitions, activities and events to celebrate the anniversary – 150 Years of the London Underground

We are also supporting Quainton’s own restoration project for their Met 1 locomotive.

Exciting times ahead!

Please note that this is the full extent of information we have at the moment and therefore we’re currently unable to accept enquiries on this matter. Keep checking back for updates.

Bus Shelter Exhibition: installation


Even though the artwork only arrived on Tuesday afternoon, our fantastic MTA’s (Museum Technician Assistants) wasted no time in starting work on the installation. They spent several hours on Wedensday drilling, hanging and sticking the art panels to the wall of our temporary exhibition space, where the artwork will be shown until the 3rd June.

Today they have been working on the plasma screen, showing the films created as part of the project, which will be mounted onto the wall to complete the exhibition!

Work has already begun on planning a celebration event, where the participants of each project will be invited to the Museum to view the exhibition and meet each other for the first time.

A New Subterranean Map of London – Get Involved!

Before Getting involved in the project you might like to read the full post: A New Subterranean Map of London

When thinking about London Underground, most people will relate to the tube system and their memories of events whilst on it, or to a crypt, basement or tunnel. This is all fine. London Transport Museum would like this blog to be a platform for expression in relation to subterranean places as well as history, archeology and comments. From your comments, I hope to find certain patterns or strands that reveal the histories of London’s people in relation to the geography of the place.

A few open questions to consider:

  • When you think about what is underground in London, what do you see?
  • What spaces fascinate you?
  • What discoveries have you made both in fact and fiction?
  • What rumors of ‘secret’ underground infrastructure have you heard about?
  • What does the ‘underworld’ mean to you?
  • Your idea of the ‘uncanny’?
  • What are the stereotypes and impressions that you hold of certain areas?
  • What is your concept of what is ‘underlying’?
  • London is a palimpsest of a multitude of histories, what do you want to see on a subterranean map of London?

A New Subterranean Map of London

London Transport Museum has commissioned me to create a new map for them. Our initial dialogue centered on ‘The Island’, a Map of London that I finished in 2008. Basically it was a hand-drawn map of London’s surface, where words and symbols mingled with geographical information to form among other things – a celebration of place. Traces of local history still resonating today were noted along with popular culture, contemporary life and autobiographical events.  It was essentially a people’s map, a snap shot of a vast and complex city frozen in time.

The information came from a vast range of sources – books, Internet, talking to people as well as my own experiences in the city of my birth and up bringing. I of course edited the details and epithets, but the filter that I used was a broad one in order for the piece to act as a mirror onto its viewer. The serious and the hard facts were to merge with the absurd and banal. It would defy conventions and act as a litmus paper to the reactions of its readers.

A portion of my internet-based research came from Wikipedia. I was drawn to the ability of the medium as a direct and democratic arena in which anyone could contribute his or her story. What is fact and what is fiction and the residue left behind from both is in itself the very fabric of our culture and our folk laws. And so, this blog lends itself to that.

I said afterwards, I would like to have noted the lost rivers of London in ‘The Island.’ The continuing flow of waters that now find themselves diverted and channeled through a system of pipes underground still ending in the Thames. These are the very routes of our city. When London Transport Museum came to me for a new idea, I thought of it straight away – An Underground map of London where I could finally include those lost rivers and develop my own tube map.

I am currently developing the ideas for this subterranean map of London and entries to this blog may contribute to its development. The map will include the underground transport network, the lost rivers of London and other notable sites of interest from pre-history to the contemporary. However, I am also looking to delve a little deeper into the questions of what the ‘underground’ means and how it might be interpreted.