The New York Subway Map Debate

At Cooper Union April 20, 7:30 pm


The discovery of a lost audio recording sheds new light on a pivotal event in design history.

This book is not yet published, but will be available from September 2022.

ISBN: 9780989532167 Category:


The New York Subway Map Debate documents a pivotal event in design history: the 1978 debate between designer Massimo Vignelli and cartographer John Tauranac over the future of the NYC Subway Map. The book features the full transcript and discussions that followed (made possible by the recent discovery of a lost audio tape of the event) along with never-before-seen photographs of the evening by Stan Ries.

The New York Subway Map Debate opens a hyper-specific window into a moment in New York design history and the eternal battle between form and content.

Edited by filmmaker and design historian Gary Hustwit, with a foreword by designer Paula Scher.

Additional information

Weight 300 g
Dimensions 12.7 x 22.9 cm
Publisher name Standards Manual, LLC
Publication date 28 September 2022
Number of pages 140
Format Paperback / softback
Contributors Photographs by Stan Ries, Foreword by Paula Scher
Dimensions 12.7 x 22.9 cm
Weight 300 g


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Gary Hustwit is an independent filmmaker and visual artist based in New York. He has produced 14 feature-length documentaries focusing on the worlds of design, architecture, and music, including Helvetica, Objectified, Urbanized, Workplace, and Rams. The films have been broadcast on outlets in 20 countries, and have been screened in over 300 cities worldwide. His film and photographic work has been shown at the Museum of Modern Art New York, Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, and the Venice Biennale.