The “Arterial Schematic” represents the intricate three-dimensional human arterial system in a highly simplified two-dimensional design reminiscent of the London Underground Map. Each “line” represents an artery within the body; a black circle marks a major vessel, whilst “stubs” stemming from the main lines represent the distal vasculature. The coloured “zones” represent the main divisions of the human body, for example; the yellow zone indicates the neck.
The schematic was inspired by Henry Beck’s work on the first diagrammatic London Underground Map. His aim was to represent complex geographical distribution in a simple and accessible form. He achieved this aim by omitting swathes of information that had plagued previous designers’ versions. Beck’s approach was succinct yet produced a design that was immediately successful in clearly portraying to commuters how to traverse London most efficiently. The “Arterial Schematic” hopes to culminate this idea of communicating complex concepts in a concise manner, mirroring what is expected of medical professionals on a daily basis.
The schematic is a prototype design intended to be part of a series of images that will diagrammatically represent the various systems of the human body. The prototype was inspired by a desire to teach anatomy via a fresh and engaging visual medium. Recent years have seen significant debate over reduced undergraduate anatomy teaching and its later consequences. The hope is that the “Arterial Schematic” and its sister diagrams will inspire students to learn anatomy and encourage them to further their knowledge via other sources.
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There are various triangles of the neck, largely divided by the sternocleidomastoid muscle to form anterior and posterior triangles. Some triangles are more 'important' that others, and this simplified visual mnemonic hopes to emphasises this.