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TfL reveals next generation of Underground stations

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David Cornish
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Dynamic lighting to guide commuters around tunnels.

Bluetooth beacons and an apps to communicate with blind and visually impaired customers.

Incorporating local culture into the artwork of stations.

These are just some of design points suggested by Transport for London's new "blueprint" for future Underground Stations.

The plans are outlined in Station Design Idiom - a 225-page document set to establish all design guidelines for new stations and all future station improvements.

To demonstrate aspects of the "blueprint", the document presents Idiom Park - a concept station of the future. 

"We are custodians of the Underground at a great time in its history," writes Gareth Powell, director of strategy at London Underground. "The London Underground Station Design Idiom has one simple aim: to bring good design to the forefront of our thinking. Good design should be the driver of decision-making, should permeate every level of the organisation, and should, ultimately, be celebrated by everyone. It doesn’t have to cost more; it’s an approach and an attitude of mind that thinks both broadly and carefully about what we do." 

Nine principles of design dictate the aesthetics of the document, summarised in the following "flash cards" (designer talk for "coloured boxes")...

The extensive document acknowledges that repair work and maintenance have "undermined" aspects of the Underground's overall design. "The Idiom helps to address these discrepancies and hits every part of the hierarchy in order to deliver outstanding customer environments."

There's even a section on the colour palettes of specific stations - so if you've always wanted a kitchen top in the exact crimson red of Whitechapel and Bow (Ncs-3560-y90r), you're in luck.

To see the plans in full, head here. And next time you're held up by delays on the Central line, take solace in the knowledge that any work TfL is carrying out will be sure to source matching ceramic tiles.

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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