Unlike other creative fields, there are few dancers turned musicians turned architects (or vice versa). Brad Pitt briefly became BFFs with Frank Gehry, but he’s neither an architect nor a musician. All of the members of Pink Floyd met while studying architecture, and Weird Al was a disc jockey during his time as an architecture student at Cal Poly — but those examples are few and far between.Kanye West once said: “I hang around architects mostly — people that wanna make things as dope as possible.”
Meanwhile, architects spend all day and night in the studio, which leaves little time to hone their rap game or learn break dancing on the L train. Where is the architecture anthem? What do architects listen to when they step into the club? What song makes them put their hands in their AYER AYER? Nothing, they have nothing.
That’s why we’ve crafted this perfect architecture playlist. We recommend you play it while standing outside your favorite architect’s house holding a boom box.
Track 1: “Autobahn”, Kraftwerk
Performed during their residency at Tate Modern, this song is 22 minutes long and is a conceptual ode to driving, phenomenology and the city. Listen to it while reading Learning From Las Vegas and sitting in your child’s car bed.
Track 2: “Supreme Architecture”, Wu-Tang Clan
Lyrics of Choice: “The supreme architect is the one who builds the universe.” Consequently, who knew Ghostface Killah had a stake in massive urban planning? Not me.
Track 3: “The Hexx”, Pavement
Lyrics of Choice: “Architecture Students are like virgins with an itch they cannot scratch. Never build a building until you’re 50, what kind of life is that?” Also, check out “Grave Architecture” by Pavement.
Track 4: “So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright”, Simon & Garfunkel
Lyrics of Choice: “Architects may come and architects may go and never change your point of view. When I run dry I stop awhile and think of you.”
Track 5: “Thru Architect’s Eyes”, David Bowie
Lyrics of Choice: “Stomping along on this big Phillip Johnson, is delay just wasting my time? All the majesty of a city landscape. All the concrete dreams in my mind’s eye. All the joy I see through these architect’s eyes.”
Track 6: “Wrecking Ball”, Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus, an amateur urbanist, delivers this profound manifesto on post-WWII urban renewal.
Track 7: “Fuller, Richard Buckminster”, Artichoke
Lyrics of Choice: “Build houses out of triangles, squares are not so tough. Look at it from new angles.”
Track 8: “Dancing on the Graves of Le Corbusier’s Dreams”, Artichoke
Lyrics of Choice: “Even he, in all his vision, never could have imagined something as beautiful as you. You and I go dancing on all of Le Corbusier’s dreams.”
Track 9: “Norwegian Wood”, The Beatles
We’ve made a conscious choice to believe this song is about stunning Scandinavian design, though Paul McCartney once explained that the term “Norwegian Wood” was a sarcastic reference to the cheap pine wall paneling then in vogue in the U.K.
Track 10: “Our House”, Madness
Cut to the dream sequence where, after years of schooling and mountains of debt, you finish building your first house and stand triumphantly on the roof while this song echoes in the background. You’ll get there — one day.
Track 11: “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”, Bauhaus
While the band is named after the Bauhaus architectural movement, this song has actually very little to do with architecture.
Track 12: “Hello Great Architect of the Universe”, Hella
Dedicated to our misunderstood architects, this song by Hella rounds out our list with an appropriate amount of discord.