London Underground Clock

Product Design

Our work for London Underground included the development of a new digital clock and timing system. The project required a detailed survey of 32 underground stations. London Underground demonstrates incredible diversity in built environment with infinite variation in architectural scale, form, volume, decorative treatments, materials, daylight and illuminated conditions. In addition the deeper central London Stations impose considerable electrical surge, vibration, air quality and health and safety responsibilities. The design challenges for the clock included a human sciences insight into “how we see time” in a complex urban environment, how to respect the historic identity of London Underground and how to develop a new display technology with a targeted 10 years mean time to failure. Part of the design process included a European Technology search of 220 display manufacturers. Atkinson Design created a shortlist of the eight leading display technology manufacturers based upon technology reviews and supplier demonstrations. Precedent clocks cost £4,000 + and failed in six and a half weeks, our mean time to failure had reached eight and a half years with a factory gate unit cost of £250 by the end of development.

“This design met the brief completely. Their reputation has been built on scrupulous research. Atkinson Design are highly recommended in projects involving complex and technical issues.”

Christopher Nell, Head of Environments, London Underground Ltd.