Homesick architect redesigns MRT map, gets nod from LTA
Homesickness prompted Mr Cliff Tan to redesign Singapore's Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) map.
He posted his take on the MRT map on Facebook on Sunday, not expecting the reception that followed.
Not only did the 31-year-old Singaporean architect's design go viral, it also received a stamp of approval from the Land Transport Authority (LTA).
Inspired by the famous London Underground rail network, Mr Tan wanted to make the map more geographically accurate while giving each line an identity.
Speaking to The New Paper, Mr Tan said: "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.
"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."
Within six hours of Mr Tan's post, LTA shared the revised design on its Facebook page with the caption "Swee la Cliff Tan! Rail-y good job there".
On his work being recognised by LTA, Mr Tan said: "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."
While many have praised Mr Tan's version, there were also those who pointed out some errors.
A Facebook user, Charlie Koh, pointed out that, while the map was neat, there were areas of confusion.
He wrote: "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."
Mr Tan, who is currently back in Singapore for two weeks to visit his family, has taken note of the online comments and plans to post an updated version of his MRT map redesign within the next few days.