As a diversion from more serious discussions of transportation policy, today I bring the transit geeks among you the opportunity to spice up your home with some themed decorations. I have previously written about subway maps, modeled after the famous London Tube Map, and how they inspire reinterpretation and artistic fun. These decorative items follow in that tradition of reusing perhaps the most common utilitarian images in our culture. Transit maps are part aesthetic representation, part pragmatic guide. However, they are defining images that we all identify with in our own way individually and as metropolitan areas. The help to define our mental understanding of our cities and how we relate to our space and our neighbors, geographically, culturally, and politically. With that in mind, enjoy these various transit-oriented products.
Need help planning your route to work? Do it in the shower with maps of New York, London, Boston, and Washington D.C. on shower curtains. If you have a shower that has needs a shower curtain this is certainly a fun way to express city pride, especially if you are currently an expat from your city of choice.
The company Extrapete has created a collection of wallpaper maps. They have prepared topographical and naval maps, but of course I am most interested in the representation of the Tokyo subway map. They have removed all the place names from the map leaving only the lines and dots for an intriguing collage of shapes and colors that would surely spice up any room.
On the subject of the ubiquitous London Tube Map and its various reappropriations, Suck U.K. has developed a London Underground mirror, placing Harry Beck’s famous graphic schematic on mirror so that you can figure out how to get to Westminster Abbey while shaving. (See the picture at the top of the post)
Lastly, in case you feel that any of these products do not express your love (or obsession) with public transit well enough one person has laid out the New York City Subway Map in tile on the floor and walls of his bathroom. The person has also provided a tile-by-tile blueprint of how to recreate his masterpiece.