Music and design, a match made in heaven?

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Thoughts Piece

Music has multiple benefits. It is a very powerful tool in changing a person’s mood and stimulating past memories. It is also proven to help reduce anxiety, blood pressure, as well as improve sleep quality and mental alertness. But what about creativity?

In the world of design, we need visual stimulation to get inspired, be it from a painting in an art gallery, an interesting building, or even a neon sign in a corner shop window. However, it is not just sight that helps with creativity but also sound. The fact that music can so easily change one’s mood, means that it can change peoples’ thoughts and therefore encourage new ideas to arise. This means that different songs evoke different emotions and in turn create different forms of creativity. A study from 2017 showed that ‘happy’ music with high emotions, such as upbeat classical music, increased creativity, and specifically increased ideas. A big reason for this is due to music encouraging lateral thinking, which is a term used for when the mind is allowed to move freely and wander subconsciously. This is the exact type of thinking that is needed when trying to tackle creative design briefs in new and original ways.

At TYC, everyone jumps in to play their favourite songs, playlists or radio stations at different times of day, naturally evolving with the pace of the studio workflows, and in turn helping to generate a varied range of creative thinking. Thanks to the design studio’s eclectic mix of personalities, TYC is a big soundhub of varying musical tastes, where everyone is encouraged to take part in the daily soundtrack selections. Aside from music boosting creativity, it can also be the subject of design in its own right. Melbourne based Graphic Designer Gabriella Brown gets inspired by sound waves and states; “I love focussing on things that have fluidity to them because there’s a sense of looseness or freedom in them, which ultimately reflects sound.” Immersive art is also another medium through which music plays an important role, allowing viewers to have a complete sensory experience. In design, we are always trying to break the rules, think outside of the box, and challenge the current trends, in the hope of creating original solutions. If we are too rigid in our thinking process, then how can we stand-out? If music can draw out our lateral thinking and stimulate new forms of ideation processes as well as new forms of self-expression, then it should definitely be used as a helpful tool in the workplace.