• Main
The List

A look at some of the best art and design castaways on Desert Island Discs

Posted by Rob Alderson,

Desert Island Discs is a British institution. First broadcast in 1942, the premise is super simple – if marooned on a desert island which songs would you take with you (as well as a book and a luxury item). Of course the show is about much, much more than music and thanks to the incredible guests the show attracts (being invited on DID is a real cultural badge of honour) and the skills of the interviewers, each show becomes a fascinating insight into some of the most interesting minds around. You can (and really should) spend some time exploring the incredible archive but here we’ve picked out a few shows featuring castaways from the art and design world that we recommend.

You can add any you think we’ve forgotten in the comments section at the bottom.

Tracey Emin

Everyone has an idea what Tracy Emin is like; her DID interview will confirm some of your preconceptions and very much challenge others.

James Dyson

Arguably the most important product designer working today, and Dyson explains why he chose Dylan is a real treat.

Damien Hirst

It’s worth bearing in mind that everything Hirst does – including media appearances – seems to be part of his personal brand development, but there are moments here when he appears to drop his guard.

Jan Pienkowski

The perfect combination of a compelling personal story and a real insight into an art form (children’s illustration in this case).

Antony Gormley

A really eclectic selection from artist Antony Gormley and some enjoyable sparring with host Sue Lawley.

Peter Blake

Artists that are genuine cultural icons are pretty rare so this is a privilege to listen to. The fact he picks The Spice Girls’ Wannabe for his daughter Rose is particularly charming.

Rankin

It’s Nice That director Will Hudson sent this round to the team shortly after it was broadcast and he’s right that it’s well worth a listen. He doesn’t come across how you probably imagine he might.

Ralph Steadman

Anyone who was Hunter S Thompson’s sidekick is alright by us. A rare talent and an extraordinary life story.

comments powered by Disqus
Ra

Posted by Rob Alderson

Editor-in-Chief Rob oversees editorial across all three It’s Nice That platforms; online, print and events. He has a background in newspaper journalism and a particular interest in art, advertising and photography. He is the main host of the Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: The List View Archive

  1. List

    Just before Christmas I like to go through the bumper two week issue of The Radio Times and circle (neatly!) the things I wish to watch over the festive period. This annual ritual engenders mixed feelings; excitement and anticipation on the one hand and an almost palpable anxiety of deciding what, unavoidably, I am going to have to miss. I have a similar feeling as London Design Festival rolls around every autumn. There is so much going on that it’s very easy to spread yourself too thinly, so with that in mind here’s ten things I am looking forward to at this year’s LDF. I make no apologies for including some pretty obvious selections, as well as hopefully a couple of more individual choices.

  2. List

    Last night Apple launched the iPhone 6, the iWatch and Apple Pay amid more fawning than a Tumnus family gathering. We may have reached peak mania around Apple’s launches, but then I’m sure I thought that last time. Because of the tech giant’s insane success, many have studied the (winning) formula by which Apple seem to conduct their public pronouncements, and this in turn has led to many spoofs skewering the Apple approach. IKEA were the latest to produce a spoof Appple ad – coincidentally released just days before yesterday’s press conference – but as you’ll see below they certainly weren’t the first to go down that route. My money’s on them not being the last either…

  3. Gwmain

    For me the commissioning, content and tone of The Gentlewoman are absolutely unparalleled in the magazine industry, and it gives me nothing but sheer joy to open a copy and have it satisfyingly flop on to the table to devour. Here at It’s Nice That we look forward to seeing the new cover and the choice of woman featured on it more than any other publication. The new cover of the bi-annual must-have magazine is out, and this time the star is Swedish electronic music artist, Robyn.

  4. List

    The death of legendary designer Deborah Sussman earlier this week has been keenly felt by the creative community at large. For someone who’d reached the very respectable age of 83, she was still ever-present in the public consciousness both for her continued influence over the visual landscape of Los Angeles and her seemingly boundless energy. She’d recently been the subject of a Kickstarter-funded retrospective at Woodbury University’s WUHO Gallery – proof if any were needed that she still had the ability to excite an audience – and as a result has been the subject of numerous magazine editorials over the past nine months.

  5. List

    Desert Island Discs is a British institution. First broadcast in 1942, the premise is super simple – if marooned on a desert island which songs would you take with you (as well as a book and a luxury item). Of course the show is about much, much more than music and thanks to the incredible guests the show attracts (being invited on DID is a real cultural badge of honour) and the skills of the interviewers, each show becomes a fascinating insight into some of the most interesting minds around. You can (and really should) spend some time exploring the incredible archive but here we’ve picked out a few shows featuring castaways from the art and design world that we recommend.

  6. List

    After seven years as Creative Director of British Esquire, David Mckendrick is off to set up a new venture with Wallpaper* art director Lee Belcher. As his final issue hits the newsstands, David reflected on his time at one of the UK’s leading magazines and picked out a selection of his favourite covers…

  7. Main

    Quite a few of us joined It’s Nice That in the summer many moons ago and so the sunny months are awash with opportunities for reflection and reminiscence. With that in mind we’ve asked four of our writers to take us back to the first post they ever wrote for the site and find out a bit more about the article that launched their careers here. And just in case you were wondering; here’s the first ever post on the site.

  8. Main5

    This week the design Twitterati were all over the new Airbnb logo from DesignStudio. While many were impressed, there’s always a range of opinions (and usually the inevitable Tumblr lampoons) around redesigns these days; see Michael Bierut’s excellent essay Graphic Design Criticism AS Spectator Sport for more on this phenomenon. It got us thinking though about some of the best logos and identities we’ve seen so far this year; and so we present a selection of the most interesting examples from the first half of 2014. We’ve also opened comments so you can agree with us, slate our bad taste or suggest some we might have missed…

  9. Main

    The Tour de France is now well underway and, in case you hadn’t heard, its first three stages took place in our green and pleasant land. Now that the riders have left us and begun the real journey down through France, we though it was high time we took a look at some of the best Tour-inspired projects to have emerged over the past seven days, because for some reason bikes get the creative community REALLY inspired.

  10. Main

    Richard Linklater’s epic 12-years-in-the-making film Boyhood is released in the UK tomorrow, and the It’s Nice That team joins film lovers everywhere in being incredibly excited about the prospect of such a groundbreaking cinematic effort. We’re all long Linklater fans, so we thought we’d make a List feature about our personal favourite scenes from his varied and rather prolific back-catalogue. Any you think we’ve missed out (and that will be a lot, as there are only four of us) just get in touch via Twitter

  11. Main

    Everyone loves that very beginning sequence in Grease, when a bedraggled, hairy figure rolls out of bed and squirts a tube of brown gunk on his comb, which he then uses to sculpt his ragged curls into the iconic John Travolta pompadour. This much-loved little animation is by the English artist John D. Wilson, described by one blogger as having “animated the 1970s like R. Crumb illustrated the 1960s.”

  12. Main

    Rafaël Rozendaal recently announced that he has now made 100 websites, cool! We wanted to honour the man that has single-handedly made wasting time in front of a screen worthwhile, and so we’ve made a list of our favourite pieces by the man himself. It’s Friday, sit back and let your eyeballs enjoy the next 15 minutes…

  13. Main

    At It’s Nice That we spend more time on the internet than we do with our friends, lovers or parents combined. So it’s only right that we start selecting the best fruit that the internet-tree has borne and handing it to you in manageable, well-written doses. At the moment the craze is music videos without the music, something that as yet is proving its staying power and is still hilarious.