Wednesday, 10 September 2008

An Atlas of Imaginary Places 12: More Underground

Last month I commented on some of the many uses of the approach of the London Underground map styling sometimes controversially, for art as well as for for illustrative purposes. Particularly relevant to today's posting I noted how it was used for also presenting conceptual things, links between intangible aspects as well as more solid ones or places. I came across the image below on a leaflet from the British Council, an organisation which promotes British interests and culture in foreign countries. I found it on a train and it is actually for foreign students who come to the UK about how they can find work in this country and is produced by a range of ministries including the Home Office which deals with immigration. Clearly they adopted a London Underground style as they thought it would be one that would be familiar to students from aborad and they have used the London Underground colours (and the grey for the mainline train services) and at the same time created a UK logo. However, aside from having an airport symbol by Tourism, they seem to have stuck the titles on the map at random. Just follow the Northern Line (black) it goes through Spanish, Dentistry, Medicine and Art. I could accept the middle two being connected, but not the other two; Podiatry is not connected to Medicine. Spanish is connected to Greek and Arabic by the East London Line (orange) and Horticulture to Agriculture by the dark red line (which does not have an equivalent on the London Underground; the brighter red running from Media to Film Studies is the Central Line) but not to Garden Design or Floristry. Art is connected to Media and Ceramics but divorced from Textiles, Performance Art and Drawing. Accounting, Finance and Banking are all on different lines. It is not clear if they meant the 'stations' to refer to courses these students were taking or careers they might secure either. It is an interesting 'map', but with a little care they could have made it much more relevant. Note that the partial words on the edge of the map appear like that on the original. I think it is 'Geography' on the far right as Geology already appears on the map. I do not know what the 'ction' is the tail end of on the far left, but I would guess it is supposed to be Construction.

British Council Student Employment 'Map' (2007)

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