At an early age, German-born designer Blair Prietz began developing a worldly perspective as his father’s work took them around the globe from the UK, to Okinawa, to California. Recently graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Industrial Design program, Blair has relocated again to Brooklyn. His worldly and creative perspective is now being put to use at Williamsburg-based design studio, AREAWARE. Blair shares a peek of his home office and the playlist that fuels his creativity...
What do you listen to while you work? Typically, I play music that complements my mood and work. It varies from day to day between reggae, jazz, or classical music. However, lately I’ve been really digging house music. During my recent four months of studying abroad in Germany, I was reintroduced to this genre during some parties I attended. Later I played a few tracks in the studio and it became such a good complement to my workflow that it’s been a part of my frequented playlist ever since.
How do you listen? I tend to use headphones while I work, especially when I have deadlines coming up. It helps me hone in on my task at hand.
Do you have any favorite music websites/providers? I regularly check out La.Ga.Sta, Pitchfork, and The Fox Is Black for new music. But for stuff I already know about, I find myself going to SoundCloud or YouTube.
Does music influence your work? Not in a direct way. I find it like a metronome for my thoughts and actions. Music to me is inspiring and stimulating and it gives me that extra boost of energy to tackle daunting tasks. The right song can free my thoughts from the unnecessary clutter around me and help me to focus, especially if there’s a lot on my plate.
Where do you find music recommendations? Who influences your musical taste? I find music recommendations everywhere from walking down the street and hearing a car radio play an interesting tune, to my friends sharing interesting finds they stumble upon. While living in Okinawa, I experienced a rich and beautiful culture that surrounded itself with vibrant folk music. Falling in love with the island and its songs, I started to play and study the Sanshin, a simple three-stringed banjo of sorts that I still play today.
If your work was a song or a musician, what or who would it be? Hmm. I would have to say Jens Lekman. His music is lighthearted and colorful yet underneath, he confronts serious issues in his work.
Blair Prietz's At Ease, Desk was designed for "urban apartments and studio spaces where there's a need to have a large clean surface to do various work".
The ideal place to sit and listen to my playlist would be in a Nelson Coconut Lounge Chair. It’s the sort of chair that I could see myself sitting in after a long day’s work and let the music wash over me.
Do you have Herman Miller pieces in your studio or home office? I do! In my studio I have a bright blue Eames shell chair. My boyfriend found it one day on a curb in Manhattan while moving into his apartment. Other than a missing foot and a few minor scuffs, it’s in pretty good nick.
1. Little Bird, Anne Lennox
2. Running (Disclosure Remix), Jessie Ware
3. Sugar, Moon Boots
4. Respect, Aretha Franklin
5. Mainline (feat. Syron), Tensnake
6. Oblivion, Grimes
7. Work It, Missy Elliot
8. Dancing Anymore, Is Tropical
9. In My House, Mary Jane Girls
10. Sukiyaki, Kyu Sakamoto
11. The Opposite of Hallelujah, Jens Lekman
(Images: Blair Prietz)