TfL May Be Overthinking the London Underground Stations of the Future

By Aatif Sulleyman on at

TfL has launched something called the London Underground Station Design Idiom, in order to give the public a taste of the thinking behind London Underground stations. It hopes the initiative gives Londoners a glimpse into the future of the transport service, and will form one part of a wider design-themed movement.

The Idiom touches upon numerous aspects of design, including architecture, materials, lighting, pavements, platforms and colour schemes. TfL says its ultimate goal is to provide customers with “welcoming, comfortable and straightforward journeys”, and has outlined nine key principles it will stand by. These are the following:

  • Achieve balance across the network
  • Look beyond the Bostwick Gate
  • Consider wholeness
  • Prioritise comfort for staff and customers
  • Delight and surprise
  • Use materials to create atmospheric spaces
  • Create ambience with lighting
  • Integrate products and services
  • Prepare for the future

It looks like a lot to act upon, though considering wholeness, 'integrating' stuff and the delight and surprise bits sound like a load of fluff. TfL says you can take a look at an exhibition of the Idiom, which can currently be found behind Southwark Underground station, on the second Friday and Saturday of each month. I'd prefer more alternative Tube maps.

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