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Transport for London launches contest to design brand new seating fabric for the Tube

Professional and non-professional designers invited to take their position in the prestigious hierarchy of artists and designers

 

Tags: Man Ray, Edward McKnight-Kauffer, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Eric Ravilious, Marion Dorn, Norbert Dutton, Enid Marx, Paul Nash

20th August 2009: Transport for London has launched a competition to design a brand new seating fabric for the Tube.
From graphics to roundels, Tube stations to textiles, London Underground is steeped in a history of innovative design. As part of the refurbishment and upgrade of London’s transport system, Transport for London is holding a competition to design a new seating fabric, also known as moquette, for use on the Underground system. The closing date is 14th September before 5pm.
Professional and non-professional designers have been invited to take their position in the prestigious hierarchy of artists and designers, who have all created designs for the Tube.
They include Man Ray, Edward McKnight-Kauffer, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Eric Ravilious, Marion Dorn, Norbert Dutton, Enid Marx and Paul Nash.
The design brief, which remains very much the same as it did in 1930, emphasises that the design’s colours should respond well to both natural and artificial light, with a pattern which takes account of wear and tear. The durable velveteen woven wool fabric called moquette uses a Jacquard weave and ensures comfort, temperature control and hold.
A press release issued here said: In the tradition set by Frank Pick, who was the publicity manager for London Transport in 1907 and became chief executive of London Transport in 1930s, the company is continuing its commitment to exemplary industrial design with the revival of key components of London Underground’s corporate identity. The winning design will launch on the Piccadilly line and will then be adopted across the London Underground system. This is a chance to become part of the fabric of London design and transport history and the winner’s work will be seen by the 3.5 million daily users of the Tube.
A maximum of three primary corporate identity pantone references can be used, which are shown from the inner wheel of the chart. Any secondary colours, shown in the outer wheel of the chart can be proposed if considered visually necessary.
The design will require applicants to take into consideration certain utilitarian elements, as required by public seating, such as being commercially viable, having a repeat pattern, and not being too small to cause “dazzle” or “strobe” visual effects.  However entrants are also encouraged to challenge conventional ideas of traditional seating fabric designs where possible.
Saskia Boersma, Brand licensing manager, Transport for London, says: “I’m really looking forward to seeing the entries people send in. Design has always played an important role for London Underground and the new seating fabric will continue this tradition of high quality design.”
To download the brief and terms and conditions, please visit https://shop.tfl.gov.uk/moquette-competition.html. Any enquires can be answered only by e-mail [email protected] The entrants should send their design to: Piccadilly Line Moquette Competition, Transport for London, 13th Floor Windsor House, 42-50 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0TL

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