Public Programme Case Study – Designology

Between 2015 – 2017 S.I.D.E Projects curated a year-long public programme of events for London Transport Museum, as part of their Designology exhibition and TfL’s Transported by Design campaign.

This programme raised awareness around the importance of good design to a city and what the future of London might look like, including anticipating and debating future challenges and advancements to our urban communities.

The programme included a series of large scale LATE events, daytime talks, participatory workshops and design challenges.

The headline figures for the programme include:

  • 176 x events (talks, workshops, debates and design residencies)
  • 229 x industry speakers, contributors and partners engaged
  • Over 2,000 members of the public actively engaged

Watch this film for an overview or read on below:





In these events LTM visitors got to work with Ivan Bennett, Chief Industrial Product Designer at TfL, to explore and identify the textures, colours and shapes that make London’s transport system unique. They then made a world city mood board, inspired by London’s iconic design.


These events were targeted at graphic designers and poster art lovers of all ages who wanted to discover more about how TfL uses posters to influence behaviour. They got to look at LTM’s iconic poster archive and create their own behaviour change posters


What if your local bus stop was a hub for local information? What if it told you what was happening on the tube? Or gave you information about upcoming local events? Students from UCL’s Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis have been exploring how to do just that, and have reimagined the humble bus shelter along the way. Visitors got to come along and find out more, before reimagining their own local shelter.


Three members of the LU Human Factors team; Jon Wackrow, Toby Goodwin and Paul Salkeld, held two interactive residency events featuring a mix of presentations and workshops. They explained how the needs of people are analysed and incorporated into the development of a usable transport network. The audience then got hands on as part of a workshop, in which we used the example of a Passenger Help Point to demonstrate how a user centred design process can be applied, and how to avoid some of the common mistakes that designers can make when they don’t consider user’s needs.


Visitors joined TfL’s Design and Communities Manager, Ann Gavaghan, to explore how our everyday journeys can be improved through good design. They worked with Ann to repurpose dead space in our model underground station to improve London’s journeying experience.


Visitors joined Wayfinder to find out about their new Open Source iBeacons project with Royal London Society for the Blind, they explored how good design and innovative new technology can make London more accessible and experience a visually impaired world then created their own digital trail around the museum!


In these events visitors got to go behind-the-scenes with TfL’s Visual Services team, see a professional animator at work, and witness their process from start to finish.


Senior Legible London team members, Paul Street and Seemer Kaler, worked with a group of Young Volunteers over the course of six weeks to design a new wayfinding map for the Museum which used the principles applied to the Legible London walking maps seen all over London. Visitors they joined the TfL and Young Volunteer team in the studio to find out how Legible London is encouraging more of us to walk, have a go at Mapping and hear how London Transport Museum is exploring its own wayfinding system.


Ten lucky young designers had the chance to do a 5-day digital sprint with TfL’s UX design team. They got to work with their designers and editors to help develop one of TfL’s digital services.



(Capacity 300) In this after-hours event, over 300 guests enjoyed an evening of workshops, talks and debates throughout the museum.

DEBATE: Design Values

In this debate we gave six industry experts just three minutes to present their case on continued public investment in transport design – after which the audience got to interrogate the panel. Panellists included senior representatives from LTM; Transport for London (TfL); Arup; Weston Williamson; Royal London Society for the Blind and Policy Connect.

DEBATE – Data – Risk or Reward?

During this interactive debate, smart city open data experts explored the risks and rewards of open data. Panellists included senior representatives from TfL, Cubic Transportation Systems, Nesta Technology Futures, Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis and Projects by IF.

DEBATE – The Big Squeeze

London’s population is set to increase from 8.4 million to around 10 million by 2030. In this debate the audience become the dragons in a den of leading industry experts, pitching their ideas, innovations and solutions to the Big Squeeze. The audience got to hear pitches from TfL, Arup, Weston Williamson.

TALK – Tube Map Challenge

Internationally renowned professor of psychology and mapping expert Professor Max Roberts, in conversation with Londonist Video Journalist, Geoff Marshall took the audience on an animated journey through the creative opportunities, flaws and psychology of maps.


Alternative tube maps

In-between debates visitors got hands on and created their own ‘Max Roberts and Geoff Marshall inspired’ alternative Tube map from everyday objects.

Designology Studio

Visitors got to meet some of our studio designers to catch up on what’s been happening in the Studio so far and have a go at creating a simple animation, inspired by TfL’s Visual Service animation studio events.

The Accessibility Trail

Visitors had the chance to go on a digital accessibility trail around the Museum and find out how Wayfindr and CoderDoJo are helping visually impaired people access London.

Redundant Space

Visitors got to meet Design and Communities Manager; Ann Gavaghan and found out how TfL is repurposing redundant space on the network. They also got to share their creative ideas during a fun brainstorming activity.


This workshop gave an insight into Nesta’s weekend festival of radical ideas designed to inspire people to change the future.

Legible London / Legible Museum

Visitors got to meet TfL’s Legible London team and discover how they have been helping LTM to become a more Legible Museum. Have a go at mapping and give your feedback.



Beyond the Surface ran from August to October 2016 and explored how the principles of good design help to create attractive, safe, well connected streets and places, improving our experiences of visiting, working and living in London.


Visitors headed to the Designology Studio to meet Transport for London’s (TfL) Streetscape Manager, Shannon Rice. They found out how TfL is influencing the design of our streets and had a go at designing a London street themselves.


This 2-week residency offered lots of LTM visitors came the chance to explore what it’s like to be a transport architect – they met professional architects from TfL, explore architectural drawings, have a go at architectural model making and experience state of the art 3D printing.


Visitors took part in a hands-on residency with Grimshaw Architects to explore the effects of major urban design projects on our local communities and neighbourhoods.


In this event visitors met lighting experts from DW Windsor found and found out more about the design, heritage and preservation of London’s iconic street lighting. They then had a go at designing a street light for London.


Visitors got to meet Lacock Gullam; designers of street furniture, way finding and information solutions for all transport modes, and helped consider how design could change our future experiences in the humble bus shelter.


Visitors found out what London River Services are doing to encourage a river transport revival. Then they had fun exploring how to design for people and freight, while factoring in complex river ecosystems and environmental demands.


TfL’s Road Space Management Design team came to the Studio to give visitors the chance to find out what they do for the growing numbers of cyclists on our streets. They explored how cyclists help to shape London’s streetscape then take part in a cycle superhighways design task.



(Capacity 300)In this after-hours event, around 200 guests got to catch up on what’s been happening in the Studio through an evening workshops, talks and debates throughout the museum.Keynote speaker: Ben Plowden, Director of Surface Strategy and Planning TfL

TALK/SCREENING – River Revival

Visitors got to take a journey along the River Thames with Pat Brown, Associate Professor of Landscape and Urbanism, Kingston University, London and have their say in the Port of London Authority’s visionary projects taking place to encourage a river revival.

DEBATE – Mode Matters

During this interactive debate guests got to quiz engineering, environmental and vehicle experts: Dr John McCarthy, Director at Atkins, Intelligent Mobility and Data Expert; Martin Wedderburn, Independent Transport Professional; Lilli Matson, Head of Strategy & Outcome Planning on what will the next 100 years look like on our roads?

DEBATE – The Big ‘Surface’ Issue

In this debate the audience became dragons in a den of leading industry experts, whose challenge was to identify and provide solutions to the big issues surrounding surface design today. Experts included Malcom Smith, Global leader of Master Planning and Urban Design at Arup; Neill McClements, Partner at Grimshaw Architects; Garry Colligan, Principal of Think Place and Co-founder of Place Research Lab and Urban Design Consultant to TfL; Dem Gerolemou, Ustwo Designer

DEBATE – Design on the Street

Guests joined five industry insiders to find out how they address the challenges faced when designing for the urban realm, from connecting and greening our communities to futuristic digital street furniture. Panellists included; Gesine Junker, Principal Urban Designer and David Sterry, Chief Architect at TfL; Scott Pengelly, Vice President of Institution of Lighting Professionals; Sam Gullam, Founder Director of Lacock Gullam.


Map your knowledge

Visitors got to work with Laura Knight, graphic designer and creator of Visualising the Knowledge – a project exploring the taxi drivers “degree of London” – to map their own collective knowledge of London’s surface.

Architectural model building

Guests got to meet the TfL Architects responsible for designing some of London’s most innovative bus stations, they explored architectural drawings, and had a go at model making with state of the art 3D printing.

Build a boat that floats

Guests got to meet Port of London Authority and find out about their vision for the river Thames. Then they had fun building a boat that floats with everyday objects.


Guests had the chance to meet some of London’s established and upcoming city designers and innovators, including Atkins Global and The Edible Bus Stop®



The third season – Designing the Tube – ran from October 2016 to March 2017 and explored how the principles of good design enable us to travel on an attractive, safe and well-connected underground network, improving our experiences of visiting, working and living in London. (Weaving events curated in partnership with research and design industry experts from CSM: Philippa Brock and TfL: Samuel Plant Dempsey)


In this event our Visitors got to explore Transport for London’s beautiful Underground Station Design Idiom and find out how it aims to inspire and conserve great design in all new Underground projects, regardless of scale. Then, to celebrate ‘Big Draw’ month, they joined us in creating a giant sketch of their favourite designs on the Underground, inspired by the Idiom’s beautiful hand drawn illustrations.


In this event we worked with Atkins to ask visitors to share their ideas about how transport services could be provided more efficiently and cheaply, or with improved customer service and experience? They got to take part in active sessions with Atkins to explore how Mobility as a Service, and the integration of multimodal transport options through a digital platform, could reimagine the future of travel.


In this event LTM visitors got to find out about the role of design within complex, large-scale infrastructure projects, currently under construction in London. Led by architects Euan Russell and Helen Davis from Grimshaw, this hands-on workshop provided a unique insight into the multidisciplinary working environment of two major projects: Crossrail and the Northern Line Extension. Visitors got to explore the challenges and opportunities encountered when designing from the scale of the city down to industrial design components.

MOQUETTE DESIGN with Wallace Sewell

Visitors got a unique opportunity to meet UK based British design studio, Wallace Sewell, designers of moquette fabric for Transport for London’s underground seating and have a go at coming up with their own moquette designs for London and saw their response to our project brief.


Visitors met final year Textile design degree students from Central Saint Martins, University of The Arts London; Phoebe Sudderick, Lily Thornton, Michael Woods & Mimi Forester, who were competitively selected by Transport for London and Textile Companies to have their work woven live in the studio.


LTM visiotrs met Maria Lisogorskaya, Jane Hall and Paloma Strelitz from, 2015 Turner Prize winning design collective, Assemble. They found out about their work and how they have innovatively approached and interpreted our brief.


Visitors had the chance to learn from independent UK based design and manufacture company Camira, producers of some on London’s best loved transport fabrics. As well as responding to our brief, they were on-hand to share their diverse experience of producing eight million metres of fabric a year, including a million metres for transport; from yarn dyeing, warping, weaving to textile designing and finishing.


Visiotrs got to find out about Gainsborough’s extraordinary collection of inspirational fabrics, built up by successive generations of weavers and designers over the last 100 years. With their knowledge and skill as UK manufacturers of stunning jacquard fabrics, they watched them work up four new designs with our resident weavers on the digital loom.


In these sessions visitors got to meet Linda Florence; bespoke hand printed wallpaper and installation designer. They found out about traditional and new print making techniques, including silk screen-printing, ceramic printing and laser cutting and watched her come up with a unique interpretation our brief with the Studio weavers, translating oyster card data into woven pattern.


Find out about Studio Houndstooth’s approach to investigating, interrogating and instigating innovative textile and material design processes through their interpretation of the brief. Try your hand at the houndstooth motif in repeat using mixed media.


Meet textile Designer Josephine Ortega, find out how she challenges the boundaries of weight, density and scale of transport fabrics, resulting in bespoke, hand crafted designs. Exemplified in the studio through collaborating with our resident weavers on our live brief.


Visitors had the chance to meet Renee Verhoeven and Larissa Kunstel-Tabet, designers from Takram and specialists in concept, product, and experience design, from architecture to digital art, organisational communication to education programs.


Interior Design students showcased their work developing proposals for the inventive reuse of Turnpike Lane Station. Visitors got to meet the students and see them build a scale model of their station redesign.


Designers, Philippa Brock, Samuel Plant Dempsey & Dr. Priti Veja came together in the studio to work collaboratively on the brief, combining their expertise in design thinking, with Brock on 3D woven jacquard and haptics, Dempsey on product design and 3D printing, and Veja on woven e-textiles. Visitors got to find out how electronics can be constructed in woven structures to make integrated soft circuits, wearable technology and smart textiles.


Visitors got to meet London based artist Ismini Samanidou, whose design practice touches on the boundaries of craft, art and design, through work developed for site specific commissions, industry collaborations and unique pieces for exhibition. They then experienced her working with our resident weavers on a woven textiles brief.


Visitors got the chance to meet award winning, avant-garde textiles label BeatWoven® and find out how they use songs and sounds to visualise and orchestrate pattern formations in textile design, particularly through the technique of weaving. Watching live as they worked with our weavers to interpret the brief on the Digital Loom.


Visitors met Rare Thread, champions of hand and machine woven textile design and finishing. They watched live as the designers collaborated with our resident weavers on the digital loom.


Visitors met hands-on London weave studio; Eleanor Pritchard; designers and manufactures of upholstery and interior accessories. They found out about using geometrics and graphic reversible patterns to create clean, contemporary design.



(Capacity 400) In the third and final Late Debate; Designing the Tube, guests were offered the choice of a range of interactive debates and workshops, inspired by our latest studio events, as well as a bar, music and the Museum’s Designology exhibition.

PechaKucha: Tales from weaving Futures Guests got to enjoy textile tales, design debates and weaving wonders, by the designers, artists and industry professionals involved in the Designology Weaving Futures studio programme including Georgia Morley, Moquette project curator at London Transport Museum; Philippa Brock, The Weave Shed and Weaving Futures curator; Dominique Caplan, Design Manager for Gainsborough; Sarah Jackson, Product Development Manager at Camira Fabrics; Rosie Green, Weaver, Samuel Plant Dempsey, Product & Critical Designer; Larissa Kunstel-Tabet and Renee Verhoeven, Takram; Linda Florence, printed textile designer and senior lecturer Central Saint Martins; Dr. Priti Veja, Weft Lab and Rita Parniczky, Artist.

DEBATE – Off the rails

Guests got to hear from expert historians, authors and contemporary designers as they explored designing for the railways, sharing from the past and debating recommendations for the future. Speakers included hosts; Mike Walton and Tim Dunn and panellists: Mike Ashworth, Design and Heritage Manager at London Underground; Paul Priestman, Designer and Chairman of PriestmanGoode; David Lawrence, Kingston University professor and author; Wallace Henning, Designer at Koto and reproducer of the British Rail Corporate Identity Manual.

DEBATE – Delight and surprise

In this debate guests explored how our journeys can be impacted through moments of delight and surprise, and how such moments make London a world class leader in design. Giving their views on how important it is for our stations to celebrate heritage, promote a sense of nature, engage with art and culture, and make an impact through well curated advertising. Presenters included; Jessica Vaughan, Art on the Underground Curator; Will Sandy and Mak Gilchrist, The Edible Bus Stop®; Glenn Iceton, Group Agency Sales Director, Exterion Media; Kathryn Lyon, Ambience and Design Manager of London Underground.

DEBATE – Connect or forget

Guests had the chance to work with New London Architecture and a panel of expert speakers to consider how the Tube and wider transport network has the ability to connect or forget regions and communities. Host: Peter Murray, Chairman of New London Architecture. Panellists: Sam Richards, Head of Urban Integration at Crossrail; Professor Nick Tyler, University College London professor and author; Declan McCafferty, Partner at Grimshaw Architects; Joanne Farrar, Technical director for Planning, Economics and Heritage practice at Atkins; Michael Schabas, Director at FCP and author of The Railway Metropolis.


In between debates guests were invited to a book signing with David Lawrence, author of British Rail Designed 1948-97; Nick Tyler, author of Accessibility and the Bus System: Transforming the World; Michael Schabas, author of The Railway Metropolis and Wallace Henning, reproducer of the British Rail Corporate Identity Manual.


To emulate the creativity and ambiance of the network guests enjoyed the busking sounds of voice, harmonica and hammered dulcimer extraordinaire Ben Henry Edwards, accompanied by Sam Lewis.


Illustrate an idiom

In this workshop guests explored tube design and shared your ideas for London’s future underground stations. To inspire them, we had Crossrail architects on hand in our new exhibition; The Design Line, Studio Egrit West illustrating the concepts behind Transport for London’s revolutionary new Underground Design Idiom and Kingston Interior Design students, showing off their model Turnpike Lane station.

Network mapping

Guests had the chance to work with New London Architecture in a giant mapping activity. Using coloured threads, they highlighted and explored the web of their combined modes, routes and communities across London, inspired by the Connect or forget debate.

Weaving wonders

In the Designology Studio and guests were given the opportunity to meet our resident weavers, watch them weaving live on a state-of-the-art TC2 digital jacquard loom and have a go designing your own Tube inspired paper weaves.


SEASON 4 – DRIVERLESS FUTURES, utopia or dystopia?

To conclude the series, we had Driverless Futures in the studio, in partnership the Royal College of Art (RCA). This theme explored how autonomous vehicles could present the most significant change in transport since the transition from horse drawn carriages to motorised vehicles.


In this event RCA designers were on hand to explore how the inside of our cars and vehicles might change in the future. Visitors had the chance to help design future mobility concepts, sharing their ideas on what might go on inside our vehicles of the future.


RCA designers went beyond the obvious, exploring what else might become autonomous in the future. Autonomous delivery pods, waste recyclers, advertisements, vending machines, showers? They invited visitors to tell them what should be turned autonomous in the future and asked for help to create new concepts. Visitors got stuck-in and watched the designers at work.


In this event we asked ‘Will kids have their own cars? Will they need cars as big as adults? Will parents feel comfortable allowing their children to use driverless cars?’ RCA designers had fun with visitors, designing vehicles for people below the driving licence age. Getting them to share their views and help design automation for the next generation.


In this event RCA designers and architects looked at how our urban spaces might evolve and develop as a result of driverless vehicles. They asked questions like ‘Will we need traffic lights? How will our roads change? Where will future vehicles park, be charged or repaired? Could they become an extension of your home or an alternative to hotel rooms?’ Visitors spent time in the studio to exploring the future and got involved with the design process.


(Capacity 120)

Guests joined in a lively debate, where we provided space for a creative discussion and insight on the social and cultural impact of autonomous vehicles on people, organisations and city environments. The session included brief talks by an invited panel, followed by an open discussion, inviting the audience to share their views, hopes or concerns. They heard from experts and helped inform future investigations – from a utopia of accessible and affordable vehicles; less stress, less pollution and safer streets; to a dystopia, of job losses, streets and cities filled with intimidating machines and isolated people. Expanding the boundaries of their thinking and contributing to ongoing work and research looking at the acceptance and adoption of driverless vehicles.