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Last Updated: Friday, 3 March 2006, 06:14 GMT
Top three 'iconic' designs named
London Underground map
The map is based on an electrical circuit
The London Underground map, the Spitfire and Concorde have been voted Britain's three favourite designs of the last century.

Design Museum visitors and viewers of BBC Two's The Culture Show were asked to choose from 25 design icons.

Among them were the Routemaster bus, the Mini, red phone boxes and more recent inventions such as the world wide web and video game Tomb Raider.

A public vote will decide which of the three is Britain's most iconic design.

The London Underground map was designed by Harry Beck in 1931 when the Tube grew so large it became impossible to map the lines and stations geographically.

The innovations of British designers have transformed the daily lives of millions of people
Alice Rawsthorn, project organiser

Instead, Beck designed the map based on an electrical circuit, with each line in a different colour and diamonds for interchange stations.

The Spitfire was designed by Reginald Mitchell from Staffordshire in 1934 and proved vital in defeating the German Luftwaffe in the skies during World War II.

The nomination comes just three days before the 70th anniversary of the first flight of a Spitfire.

Concorde, which cruised at twice the speed of sound, was created by the British Aerospace Corporation with Aerospatiale.

In 1969, the supersonic aircraft completed its first flight from Toulouse.

Alice Rawsthorn, project organiser, said: "Britain leads the world in design and the innovations of British designers have transformed the daily lives of millions of people.

"We want to find out what the public thinks of British design and which of all the wonderful examples of British design excellence is their favourite."

The making of icons
09 Jan 06 |  Magazine


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