Don’t mean a thang if it ain’t got that twang… © Alembic
Most designers enjoy music for mood-management or constructive distraction and many also grapple with an instrument in their spare time. Finding significance in detail is another inextricable part of design activity—A History of the World in 100 Objects and the Boring Conference attest to the the wider appeal looking for big stuff in minutiæ.
I enjoyed Boring 2011 hugely but could not attend this time—so an invitation to contribute to Keechdesign / Yamaha Design Studio’s Something Like A Musical Instrument event was timely consolation. For it, contributors were asked to speak for a minute or two on an object with some connection to music. Talks ranged from a concise presentation of the flosspick as “the world’s smallest stringed instrument” to a demonstration of trombone mute development by David Keech (not only a fine designer but an actual proper musician as well). A fuller selection of contributions can be found on Johnson Banks’ ‘Thought For the Week’ blog. My effort was something like the following: