Object Timeline

2010

  • Work on this object began.

2017

2018

  • We acquired this object.

2019

  • You found it!

Textile, Barman - Priority Seating, 2010

This is a Textile. It was designed by Wallace Sewell and made for Transport for London. It is dated 2010 and we acquired it in 2018. Its medium is wool, polyester and its technique is pile woven. It is a part of the Textiles department.

In 2010, designers Harriet Wallace-Jones and Emma Sewell, of Wallace Sewell, won a competition to design a new moquette for the London Underground. The designers had created work for Transport for London (TfL) before – first for the Overground, then for the Tramlink, but are best known for their colorful scarves and blankets, all woven in northern England.
Moquette is a type of very hard-wearing, durable and fire-resistant fabric with wool pile which is frequently used in public spaces. TfL’s brief for the project was very specific in terms of durability and design: patterns had to have small repeats and bold patterns to mitigate the effects of wear and vandalism, and could use no more than four prescribed colors. Wallace Sewell’s design is based on four iconic London structures -- the London Eye, Big Ben’s clock face, the towers of London Bridge, and the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral – each abstracted to simple, geometric forms. This seat back panel for reserved priority seating includes woven-in pictograms of a pregnant woman, a woman carrying an infant, and a person with a cane. Across the UK and Europe, a number of public transit systems use graphics embedded in the seat or its upholstery to signal priority seats. This may include figural designs such as this one, alternate color combinations, or both. Often this is combined with traditional signage above the seat, but is seen to be a more effective deterrent to non-priority users.

This object was donated by Wallace Sewell. It is credited Gift of Wallace Sewell.

Its dimensions are

H x W: 94.6 × 58.7 cm (37 1/4 × 23 1/8 in.)

Cite this object as

Textile, Barman - Priority Seating, 2010; Designed by Wallace Sewell ; wool, polyester; H x W: 94.6 × 58.7 cm (37 1/4 × 23 1/8 in.); Gift of Wallace Sewell; 2018-14-3

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1108725061/ |title=Textile, Barman - Priority Seating, 2010 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=22 October 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>