Inspiring designs in the Amsterdam Metro

I’m not a big fan of the Amsterdam Metro. In fact, I never thought I’d find myself writing a post inspired by Amsterdam’s public transportation system, and certainly not the Metro! However, travelling in the Metro has become a much more enjoyable experience in the past few months after a complete makeover of the interior. Gone are the graffiti (the type that could hardly be considered artistic) and smudged walls and seats. Stepping into the Amsterdam Metro these days is like taking a breath of fresh air. Commuters are now greeted by a range of stunning designs which are soothing to the eye and absolutely inspiring. The underwater world theme, with its colourful tropical fish, turtles and mermaids is striking but other designs I love include one which features flying musical instruments and city scenes in Delft Blue.

177 Connections to Amsterdam

You never know what you’re going to see when you step into the Amsterdam Metro as there are a wide variety of designs. When I used the Metro yesterday, I was confronted with a new design that spoke straight to my heart. The theme was “177 Connections to Amsterdam”, a reference to the 177 nationalities that live in the city. Throughout the car were little boxes with statistics on the capital cities of these countries such as the population, national income, annual rainfall and the number of people from this country living in Amsterdam.

177 Connections photos courtesy of Clever Franke & Uber-Stuff

I contacted the design bureaus who created this concept and this is what they had to say about the ‘177 Connections to Amsterdam’ theme:

With 177 different nationalities living in Amsterdam it has the largest number of different nationalities of all the capital cities in the world. This infographic gives an overview of the geographical and national statistics of the capitals of these 177 nationalities. The lines represent the migration of these nationalities to Amsterdam and the thickness of each line represents the number of people of that specific nationality living in Amsterdam.

Being a geography and data freak, I was filled with delight and walked around the metro car, examining every box, like a kid in a candy store! Seriously, my hat’s off to the designers at Clever Franke and Uber-Stuff who created this concept! Art+Education = Inspiration! And I was certainly inspired!

Read other Velvet Escape posts on Amsterdam:

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15 Responses to “Inspiring designs in the Amsterdam Metro”

  1. David @ Malaysia Asia 17/11/2010 7:56 pm
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    They look really funky and cool. Gives the metro a whole new look too. Sorry but in Malaysia all you see are Maxis and Digi ads plastered on the trains lol.

    Cheers,
    David

  2. Jeroen van Eerden 17/11/2010 6:23 pm
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    Wow! Great post! Love these works!

    :D

  3. Greg Gross 08/11/2010 5:30 pm
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    More evidence of the utter “coolness” of Amsterdam. I can envision passengers being so enthralled in these rolling cocoons of movable art that they miss their stops. Very cool!

  4. Sarah 29/10/2010 7:09 am
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    Very nice post!. I love design so much and to see it in the Metro was very inspiring.

  5. Rob 25/10/2010 9:48 pm
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    very nice! I also loved the ‘Delft Blue’ version a lot, next time i’ll leave my bike when I get to the Bijlemr or other far away parts of the city..

  6. velvet 25/10/2010 5:41 pm
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    Woohoo! Hope to see you in Amsterdam next week Monica! :-)

    Cheers,
    Keith

  7. Monica 25/10/2010 5:14 pm
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    Very cool! One more thing to look forward to seeing next week!

  8. velvet 25/10/2010 12:46 pm
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    Hi Mark,
    Thanks so much for your comment. I didn’t see a box for Mexico City but I’m sure there’s one as there are quite a few Mexicans living here. Glad to know you’re another geography/data freak. :-)

    Cheers,
    Keith

  9. Mark 24/10/2010 7:11 pm
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    Awesome post Keith! I share your enthusiasm for geography and data…BELIEVE ME! I think the addition of something “educational” & artistic added to a metro system is far better than plastering our ride home with advertising (wink, wink at BART system in San Francisco). Hey, curious if Mexico City was included? Great post and pics my friend….loved it!

  10. Sonya 24/10/2010 7:52 am
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    Amazing post about the Amsterdam Metro! I’ve seen the most unforgettable architecture, design, art, advertising and people on metros around the world. Green and captivating!

  11. velvet 22/10/2010 4:51 pm
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    Too cool! Sure makes using the metro a lot more enjoyable! :-)

    Cheers,
    Keith

  12. Camels & Chocolate 22/10/2010 4:49 pm
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    I had to stop and think if when I lived in Holland (Utrecht) I ever even took the A-Dam metro, and I think the answer is no! But how cool is this??

  13. velvet 22/10/2010 11:25 am
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    Thanks for your comment Jools!

    Cheers,
    Keith

  14. Jools Stone 22/10/2010 1:16 am
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    The first one is stunning. A good way to instill a bit pride in what are often grubby environments. Thanks for posting this.

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    [...] publishes poems by local artists on public transit alongside its poster ads. Amsterdam had a design contest to renovate metro cars. This design (left) covered the inside of the car with a sea world, and another winning design was [...]

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