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Homesick Architect’s Take On MRT Map Gets LTA Approval

Cliff Tan’s take on the MRT map went viral when LTA shared the revised design on its Facebook page. 

Moved by homesickness, a 31-year old Singaporean architect redesigned the city-state’s Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) map, which garnered Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) stamp of approval, reported The New Paper.

“I left Singapore in 2010 and the MRT system changed rapidly over the years and I was unable to comprehend these changes. I was also homesick. In the nine years I have been in London, I never felt like I belonged there,” shared Cliff Tan.

“I also felt disconnected to Singapore because it is always changing, so I redesigned the MRT map to reconnect with Singapore and to understand these new changes better.”

 

Source: LTA/Facebook

Inspired by the London Underground rail network, Tan wanted his map to be more geographically accurate by giving each line an identity.

However, he did not expect his take on the MRT map to go viral when he posted it on Facebook, more so for LTA to share the revised design on its Facebook page with the caption “Swee la Cliff Tan! Rail-y good job there” just six hours after.

“I woke up to a link a friend had sent me. I was shocked and overwhelmed because it was a personal project but, because of LTA, instead of it being forgotten, it picked up more momentum.”

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Although he received a lot of praise for his work, some commenters pointed out errors.

Facebook user Charlie Koh, for instance, noted that while the map was neat, some areas were confusing.

“The East-West Line and North-South Line at Raffles Place and City Hall stations are too close to Outram Park. And the Sentosa line, though there is good information… is not part of SMRT so, if included, may be confused to be part of the SMRT network,” he wrote.

Taking note of the online comments, Tan – who is back in Singapore for a two-week visit to his family – intends to post an updated version of the map within the next few days.

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Fiona Ho, Digital Content Manager at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this or other stories, email fiona@propertyguru.com.sg