Red phone box voted “greatest British design”

 

In a survey conducted by Kingston University’s Professor Catherine McDermott, the red phone box was voted above other designs including the Routemaster Double-Decker Bus, the Tube Map, the London Eye and the London 2012 Olympic Torch.

Image by flickr user Pat Dalton
Image by flickr user Pat Dalton

The K series red phone box has been voted as the greatest British design of all time in a new poll.

The survey was conducted by Professor Catherine McDermott, director of curating contemporary design at Kingston University. It was commissioned by Samsung to mark the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S6.

The K Series phone box saw off other British designs including the Routemaster Double-Decker Bus, the Tube Map, the London Eye and the London 2012 Olympic Torch.

Some 2,000 people were surveyed and asked about their favourite designs from a longlist of 25 projects put together by Professor McDermott and a panel of judges.

The red phone box was a clear winner, with 39 per cent of those polled selecting it as a Great British design, ahead of the Routemaster Double Decker Bus, which was chosen by 28 per cent, and the Union Flag, which was chosen by 24 per cent.

The K Series of red phone boxes was introduced by the Post Office in 1920. The K2, K3 and K6 models – which are probably the most recognisable models – were designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and introduced between 1926 and 1935.

Several hundred thousand phone boxes were installed around the UK from the 1920s onwards and it is estimated that 11,000 traditional red phone boxes remain in service.

The survey also showed that 77 per cent of those polled feel that the UK is still producing great home-grown designs, while 69 per cent say that designs “made them proud to be British”.

Top 25 Greatest British Designs

Image by flickr user Neil Turner
Image by flickr user Neil Turner

1 Red Phone Box (K Series) – 39%

Image by flickr user Clive A Brown
Image by flickr user Clive A Brown

2 Routemaster Double Decker Bus – 28%

Image by flickr user Iker Merodio
Image by flickr user Iker Merodio

3 Union Jack – 24%

Image by UK Ministry of Defence
Image by UK Ministry of Defence

4 Spitfire – 23%

Image by flickr user n4i
Image by flickr user n4i

5 Rolls Royce – 22%

Image by flickr user Aurelijus Valeisa
Image by flickr user Aurelijus Valeisa

6 London Taxi – 21%

tube_map

7 Tube Map – 21%

Image by flickr user Joshin Yamada
Image by flickr user Joshin Yamada

8 Mini Cooper – 20%

Image by flickr user Dan Davison
Image by flickr user Dan Davison

9 Concorde – 20%

Image by flickr user Mike Cattell
Image by flickr user Mike Cattell

10 Red Pillar Box – 17%

11 Jaguar E-Type – 16%

12 Aston Martin DB5 – 12%

13 Miniskirt – 11%

14 London Eye – 11%

15 Double Helix DNA structure – 10%

16 Wembley Stadium – 9%

17 First Class Postage Stamp – 8%

18 Dr Martens – 6%

19 Angel of the North – 5%

20 Wellington Boots – 5%

21 London 2012 Olympic Torch – 5%

22 Tartan Print – 5%

23 Burberry Trench Coat – 4%

24 Saville Row Suit – 4%

25 Fred Perry Polo Shirt – 3%

Latest articles