Good Design Needs Good Music: The smow Blog Playlist

It’s not quite radio smow. Not yet. But we hope it is another way to enjoy, and understand, the smow blog…….

6 D 030 Z by Charles Ray Eames for Evans for Zenith Radio, as seen at Radio Days. Tube Radios, Design Classics, Internet Radio, the Museum für Angewandte Kunst Cologne

6 D 030 Z by Charles & Ray Eames for Evans for Zenith Radio, as seen at Radio Days. Tube Radios, Design Classics, Internet Radio, the Museum für Angewandte Kunst Cologne

Much as there is an innate joy in the way a good designer can reduce an idea down to a few lengths of wood, or twists of metal, so to is there an inescapable wonder in the way a good songsmith can express an idea in less words than we need to buy our morning rolls. Or indeed explain the comparison.

But the parallels between music and design go deeper.

Through both music and design one can respond to contemporary cultural realities, can contribute to social and political debates, can express disquiet, unity or simply devotion.

While on an emotional level both design and music have the ability to inspire, delight, motivate and bring comfort to the darkest of moments: but can also infuriate, confuse, anger and bring you to tears through an utter banal pointlessness. Have we cried and cried and cried!

And both are essential components of the smow blog understanding of the world, of how we interpret and interact with that which surrounds us, and that is why we mix so many song quotes through the blog posts, not just because good design needs good music, but because good music can help explain good design.

Among our personal highlights have been discussing Enzo Mari’s view on industrial production in context of a song by West Midland’s hardcore combo Napalm Death, our weaving of Tom Jones’ thematically appalling, yet perfectly crafted and deliciously realised, Delilah, through our review of the Vitra Design Museum’s Lightopia exhibition, and pointing out that Gil Scott-Heron was correct and the revolution won’t be televised. It will be streamed. While, and staying all things mass media, our review of the Museum für Angewandte Kunst Cologne’s exhibition Radio Days, is essentially just a collection of lyrics linked by the occasional adjective and adverb.

And now all those songs which feature in the smow blog have been compiled together in one smow blog spotify playlist*, a playlist that will, inevitably, grow, just as surely as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti….. And there is the next one…

All playlists can be found at spotify smowonline

* Yes we did consider other streaming services, but had to settle on one…….. and we’re not big fans of pomaceous fruits…..

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