Dezeen Magazine

Tube Map Radio by Yuri Suzuki

London Design FestivalJapanese designer Yuri Suzuki has made a radio from an electronic circuit board that's arranged to look like the London tube map.

The map is inspired by a spoof diagram created by the original designer of the London Tube map, Harry Beck, which shows the lines and stations as an annotated electrical circuit. Iconic landmarks on Suzuki's map are represented by components relating to their functions, including a speaker where Speaker's Corner sits and a battery representing Battersea Power Station.

Suzuki told Dezeen he wanted to make the components visible because "it is difficult for consumers to understand the complexity of the workings behind the exterior" of today's electronic devices. By creating a "narrative to explain how electronics work," he hopes users will be encouraged to fix their own broken devices.

Tube Map Radio is one of two projects completed by Suzuki in response to a brief of Thrift set for Designers in Residence, an annual platform for upcoming designers at the Design Museum in London.

Suzuki previously worked with Oscar Diaz to design a pen that records and plays back the sound it makes as it draws a line and, for his graduation project from the Royal College of Art in 2008, he presented products that investigated the physical properties of sound.

Photography is by Hitomi Kai Yoda.

Here's some more information from Suzuki:

This year, the Designers in Residence project theme is Thrift and in response to this brief I have made projects which re-design the communication system of electronics.

I have investigated the workings of consumer electronics. Appliances such as transistor radios and toasters used to be easy for the user to take apart and repair. Today, products such as iPods have sleek, impenetrable skins and nanocomponents too small for the human hand to fix. It is difficult for consumers to understand the complexity of the workings behind the exterior.

In response to this, I have explored the use of printed circuit board (PCB), the simple and efficient components found inside the majority of electronic devices today. First project is tube map radio inspired by Harry Beck’s 1933 spoof diagram of his original design for the London Underground map drawn as an electrical circuit.

The PCB circuit pattern is extremely complicated and difficult to find out how electricity connect between components. In tube map radio I positioned electronic components based on the function of London city, for example speaker volume for speaker corner, power battery for Battersea powerstation and so on. Then you will realize how electricity is less complicated than you imagine, and if you replace it with something you are familiar with it will be simpler to understand.