It’s like walking into a cartoon.

Imagine the shock waking up one day to find everything has become clunky, nonfunctional models of the real things. You might get a similar jolt walking into London’s newest tube station, a life-sized wooden fake seemingly escaped from a hand-drawn cartoon.

The ersatz station was made by local artist Camilla Barnard for this year’s London Design Festival. Barnard is an expert in creating sculptural forgeries—don’t ever let her sell you a “Roger Vivier handbag”—but even so, this project must have tested her talents to the max. It’s packed with turnstiles, ticket machines, an emergency intercom, high-voltage signs, wall advertising, and shakily lettered editions of Metro (headline: “Wooden Station takes LDF by Storm!”). There’s even a system map that looks like something a train-obsessed third-grader might paint:

A photo posted by wrightio (@wrightio) on

For the pop-up installation, located at an old art school in Holborn, Barnard collaborated with Transport for London, which wanted to highlight its design program. Visitors could chow down at a nearby restaurant named for Frank Pick, who helped mold the Underground’s vintage brand image, and peruse classic and modern transport-themed design collections. Some more peeks inside:

A photo posted by Alison E Wise (@djalicat) on

A photo posted by Daisy Gam (@daisygam) on

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Design

    Why Amsterdam’s Canal Houses Have Endured for 300 Years

    A different kind of wealth distribution in 17th-century Amsterdam paved the way for its quintessential home design.

  2. photo: Developer James Rouse visiting Harborplace in Baltimore's Inner Harbor.
    Life

    What Happened to Baltimore’s Harborplace?

    The pioneering festival marketplace was among the most trendsetting urban attractions of the last 40 years. Now it’s looking for a new place in a changed city.

  3. Equity

    What ‘Livability’ Looks Like for Black Women

    Livability indexes can obscure the experiences of non-white people. CityLab analyzed the outcomes just for black women, for a different kind of ranking.

  4. photo: San Diego's Trolley
    Transportation

    Out of Darkness, Light Rail!

    In an era of austere federal funding for urban public transportation, light rail seemed to make sense. Did the little trains of the 1980s pull their own weight?

  5. photo: NYC subway
    Transportation

    Behind the Gains in U.S. Public Transit Ridership

    Public transportation systems in the United States gained passengers over the second and third quarters of 2019. But the boost came from two large cities.

×