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In December 2012, the final section of London’s new inner suburban circular railway opened, and a number of designers proposed maps using concentric circles in order to emphasize the new orbital connections. Unfortunately, these generally grafted circles onto standard schematic map rules: horizontal and vertical straight lines, and 45-degree diagonals. From the point of view of a circle, there is nothing special about these angles, and the results generally suffered from having elements that related to each other poorly.
The most effective way to relate concentric circles to straight lines is to use spokes and tangents. Thus was born my “Circles Tube Map,” which immediately went viral on the internet. Many found the concept too alien, but others were mesmerized by its unearthly charm, totally unlike any Underground map seen before.
I had intended “Circles Tube Map” as a playful exploration rather than an improvement in usability, but the positive response caused me to rethink. The design lost points for simplicity—its lines twisting and turning with many unavoidable corners—but the payback was a massive gain in coherence; the way in which the elements of a map holistically relate to each other, ideally giving the result clear shape.
New York is the ninth destination in my world tour of circles maps. This should not even have been attempted: How can a grid city with no real orbital component to its rail network be remotely compatible with these design rules? The surprise is that, having identified a suitable point of origin, and apart from a few awkward locations, the map falls into place neatly. People may object to its aesthetics, and geographical purists will dislike it in the same way that they distrust all highly schematized designs, but its overall power is harder to dispute—the result of forcing the New York subway into an unprecedented level of organization. Usability studies will commence later this year.
Should this ancient symbol be banned in all of Europe? Burke sees Prince Harry’s costume malfunction as an occasion for further reflection on viability of this powerful symbol.
Section: Inspiration -
Voice, international, social responsibility
Another competition is in the books! The Big One, Alaska's annual design show awards ceremony and exhibition, was Saturday, November 15 at The Boardroom. The event was truly statewide, with entries coming in from as far north as Barrow and far south as Nikiski.
Design methodologies add value to the visual arts curriculum by teaching the practical and purposeful
application of creative thinking—the very definition of innovation. So why has design education been largely absent in conversations about K12 education reform?
Section: Tools and Resources
An in-depth audio interview with Dezeen founder Marcus Fairs
Posted by Rob Alderson
4 days ago from
It's Nice That
Perfect #Sunday reading RT @itsnicethat: #Design stories inside @NewYorker's remarkable covers http://t.co/7ZG7xfodp8 http://t.co/r0HXcwmuoK
8 hours ago
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The Big One 2014
November 22, 2014
Web Developer/Webmaster – Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau
November 18, 2014
Li-Ning Retail Design