Rock-itecture: Album Art and Design

Steve switched courses to talk about the different ways architecture is expressed in album art, from pure representation of buildings to graphics influenced by the process of creating architectural drawings and diagrams. Showing a series of album covers, with the accompanying music in the background, the group talked about the architectural significance of each image. Some of the highlights include: The Sea and Cake’s architectural abstract landscapes; Physical Graffiti by Led Zepplin, which shows the façade of two East Village tenement houses and the windows populated by interactive movable images;

Talking Heads, Songs about Buildings and Food, where the incorporation of architecture is a common theme. The images of the band are constructed from an assembly of small photographs to form a cohesive whole in much the same way a physical structure is built by smaller elements. Black Mountain “In the Future” has a forward-looking geometric cover.

Luna’s “Penthouse,” which upon close inspection, turns out to be a photograph the Empire State Building, and Wilco’s use of Chicago’s Marina City as the cover to their classic, “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” are a few more examples.