Men and maps. It’s a nerdy love affair for the ages.
And nobody does maps quite like Transport for London, an organization that has the market in coloured lines and geometric river doodles all sewn up.
So an exhibition celebrating that map is very welcome. Designed by Harry Beck in 1931, the London Underground map is a classic. It may not give a damn about geographical accuracy (since when was the Circle Line shaped like a hip flask?), but that’s exactly what makes it the definitive idiot-proof guide to the tube.
In celebration of Beck’s work, the exhibition draws together more than 80 years of art and design (spoiler: coloured lines and geometric rivers feature. A lot.) to reveal how the London Underground “inspired the world”. So we take it there’ll be no mention of the constant delays then? It probably won’t bring up the intoxicating scent of urine that clings to the platforms either. Spoilsport.
Mind the Map: inspiring art, design and cartography, 18 May to 28 October, London Transport Museum, London WC2 ltmuseum.co.uk
Words by Olly Stratford