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The London Tube Map as a Working Radio

Japanese designer Yuri Suzuki took inspiration from London's iconic tube map to make a working radio.

London Underground map

The London Tube map. (image: TfL)

The route map of the London Underground is a global icon, something that has long transcended its functional purpose to become an instantly recognisable symbol of the city itself. But rather than working to an official commission, the original designer, Harry Beck, created the map as a pet project in his spare time, drawing on his electronics engineering background to make a map that resembled a circuit diagram.

This was the inspiration behind the ‘reverse-engineering’ of Japanese designer Yuri Suzuki, who used the tube schematic to make a printed circuit board, then, by installing components at strategic locations, turned it into a functioning radio.

The project was completed as part of a 2012 residency at the London Design Museum, that saw a range of artists and designers experiment with familiar materials from consumer culture.

Below the picture, the designer explains his work in a short video.