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Reinventions: London's Double-Decker Bus

It was a dream project. No design team had had a chance to design a bus for London for 50 years. There had been a strong sense of dignity about taking the bus. But the experience for the passenger had been degraded over time. The London transport authority had just a single stipulation for bus manufacturers: The outside had to be red. Inside it was a hodgepodge of colors, patterns. If you panned your eye around the interior, like a sort of bus archaeologist, you could see all the regulations that had bust their way in. The hand poles were nuclear yellow, because of the directive that they had to stand out from the background. There was fluorescent lighting, which is the least flattering to people’s skin. It’s essential that cities use their infrastructure to keep reasserting their identities. — Thomas Heatherwick, founder, Heatherwick Studio

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