Take a wander through the architecture studio and you'll see that music plays a role in the design and construction of buildings. Look at the students around you, heads down in studied concentration, listening to music as they explore ideas by hand or on screen. To the traditional architectural materials of plaster, pencil and paper we can now add the playlist and 'phones.
Studio Group 5 is a compilation of the music being listened to in the design studio by second-year Architecture students from Edinburgh University. Across a period of three weeks in November 2016 they nominated tracks from their personal playlists that they particularly looked to for encouragement, inspiration or as a way of keeping them going through the long days and late nights in the studio. In each case the participating students selected music from Spotify, YouTube or other online content providers.
The compilation draws on a range of musical genres, perhaps reflecting the different activities being undertaken during that part of Architectural Design course. What is striking though - at least to an outsider who might visualise the studied calm of the architect at her desk - is the tendency towards high energy music. As one contributor suggests in the liner notes below, when you're in the design studio it isn't possible to get up and party, so instead the energy in the music goes into you head and then is expressed onto the page or screen.
Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood
"Recently I’ve been listening to lots of 80’s music: things around Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood. It has a good movement to it. It has good lyrics for working. It’s just a great song that I keep coming back to."
Sometimes by James
"This would just generally pick my work up a bit, because of its upbeat nature. wouldn't necessarily listen to said style if I really had to get work done."
Skin Deep by Dusky
"Usually when I'm just trying to get my head down while also trying to feel a bit motivated to do work. This song and others in similar genres are fairly long so it means I can concentrate, because I don't have to keep changing it."
Let Go (feat. Kele & MNDR) by RAC
"I have a playlist on Spotify. So that’s 15 hours of songs. And I normally just shuffle it. But this has been here on a long time. It’s just a great song. This has been on my playlist since July 2015. So more than a year."
The Violin Song (feat. Brianna) by MonoIr
"I tend to put songs in the Favorites bar and then I find them on YouTube. This one has a rapid - almost violent - beat, combined with a violin. It comes together quite beautifully. The lyrics - I don’t focus on that - it’s the beat. But I can also find classical music quite intrusive."
Time by Jungle
"My main playlist has 300 tracks. And it moves quite progressively. But I always go back to a track called ‘Time’ by Jungle. It’s just great. It just gets you in the zone. It gets things going. You can’t jump around so I divert the energy into my mind. it helps me get into a rhythm. it’s a favourite."
Make Luv by Room 5 ft. Oliver Cheatham
"Would probably listen to something like this when I'm concentrating the least. I probably wouldn't be in any hurry to do work, but just wanted to listen to music while I casually do something in the studio."
Midnight Lady by Marvin Gaye
"It picks you up a bit. If you’re on a low it gets you into a better mood."
Real Love by Clean Bandit and Jess Glynne
"I like this because its upbeat. I’m the kind of person who listen to the music for the beat not the lyrics. I look for the beat to keep me alert. It gets to this stage of the term and I need to keep going. So no energy drinks, but music."
Teacher Teacher by Slick Rick
"Any Slick Rick, really. It always tells a story. Its like listening to a podcast but not an academic podcast. And the music it has a receptive beat that you can get on board with. Lots of stories."
Selected by students from Studio Group 5, completing the second year course in Architectural Design, within the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at the University of Edinburgh.