• Steven Heller

Design From Underground

The publisher Standards Manual has teamed up with Brian Kelley on New York City Transit Authority: Objects: a catalogue by Kelley that presents an archive of New York’s historic subway system through a unique array of over 400 artifacts.

Kelley’s collection began in 2011 when he started amassing and photographing MetroCards. After searching through all of New York’s subway stations and documenting a wide variety of cards, he eagerly expanded his search to include any and all NYCTA objects he could find: maps, uniforms, tokens, matchbooks, posters and signs dating from the mid-19th century to today.

Eventually, Kelley’s search throughout New York’s 472 subway stations became exhausted, and he turned to eBay to expand his hunt. His interest in MetroCards naturally expanded into other subway memorabilia, which he purchased online and documented in his studio. As he met fellow subway enthusiasts and learned more about New York’s rich transportation history, he became transfixed.


New York City Transit Authority: Objects is published by Standards Manual and distributed in North America by ARTBOOK | DAP, and internationally by Thames & Hudson.


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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.View all posts by Steven Heller →

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