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"A Design for Life" was released by Manic Street Preachers in 1996 and was the first single release from the Everything Must Go album of May that same year.
The title was inspired by the Joy Division EP record "An Ideal for Living". The opening line 'Libraries gave us power' was inspired by the legend above the entrance to a public library in Newport, near the band's home town of Blackwood in Wales: 'Knowledge is Power', whilst the phrase 'then work .