Under London Ground

Transport for London recently hosted a textile competition to re-design the moquette for all London Underground’s seating.

Throughout the history of London’s transport, there have been a multitude of vile patterns woven in to our circadian travels. With my pattern loathing in full swing I launched myself into saving commuters from this aesthetic misery. But it was tough. I took for granted the complexity of arranging colours. Harder still, because TFL assigned a blinding colour wheel to the project. It was a considerable challenge and it took me so very far away from my usual work, that I could no longer tell if the pattern appealed to me. Could it work?

In my research, I came by a boundless archive of photos documenting the construction and development of our transport network.

It’s fascinating, though of course, please be prepared to dedicate an entire afternoon to the scrutiny of those detailed images. Or, if you haven’t the time, here is a colour samples depicting a 1938 carriage interior:


Moquette seating fabric entitled ‘Roundel’ designed by Eddie Chapman 1947.

Design “Berries” by Zosienka

In brief, the London blue was to cover sixty percent of the pattern, with the possibility of reversing the colours to mark priority seating.

TFL Berries


1 Comment

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One response to “Under London Ground

  1. badzia

    i think i remember that pattern from the late thirties is it possible that that formidable fabric lasted till early seventies????
    anyway i just love your jolly red kulkas pattern, they seem to be travelling so fast!!

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