The work of Bettina Nissen mines the trappings of everyday living, drawing its symbolism, shapes, and even routines into the designs. Based in the UK, Bettina contrasts materials, colors, and other elements with her own wit and curiosity. The result - like her recent "Blurbs Coat Rack" - is a unique, instantly engaging line of home accessories, furniture, lighting, and more. Explore Bettina's studio, work, and music's impact in this week's Playlist.
Open studio day, showcasing all of Bettina's designs.
What do you listen to while you work?
Generally I listen to quite a mix of music, ranging from singer/songwriter, folk, and indie rock to pop to some electronica; when I am working, it really depends on the type of work I am doing at a particular time. So when I am designing a new product, for example, I like to listen to something relaxing.
But whenever I am doing production work, like packaging products or packing up orders, I generally like to listen to more upbeat music to keep me occupied. And other times when I have to concentrate (for example, with written work or for decision-making time) I prefer to not to listen to any music. I think the occasional silence sometimes makes music even more enjoyable.
How do you listen?
Having a studio to myself allows me to listen to music on speakers. I usually start the day off fairly quiet, but tend to turn it up whenever I feel the need for a pick-me-up (usually to conquer a post-lunch low).
Do you have any favorite music websites/providers?
I mainly use iTunes for my own music collection, but use Spotify if I want to listen to new albums.
Does music influence your work?
Music doesn't play an integral part in the objects or shapes I design. But I think, in more general terms, the music I listen to while working has an indirect but important impact on my mood and the work I am doing.
Where do you find music recommendations? Who influences your musical taste?
Generally I would say my friends and my husband. A lot of the music I listen to are friends' recommendations, or something I heard at someone's house or in a café. I don't often look for new music on websites like Pitchfork, but my husband does and I tend to inherit some albums or discover a new artist that way as well.
What song or artist best represents the work you create?
This is a difficult question as the way I see myself and my work probably differs from the way other people see it. However, I personally see my design style best represented by GIRL TALK. I see a connection in his style of digitally remixing contemporary sound with retro notions. The samples used in his music are nothing new in itself, but the unique combination in which he remixes popular hits to create something surprising, fresh, and lighthearted is something I hope to achieve in my own work.
Ideal place to sit and listen to your playlist:
The Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman in White Ash, because it reflects best the lighthearted and upbeat type of music I like to listen to.
1. Why Is Your Raincoat Always Crying?, Simone White
2. Unemployed In Summertime, Emiliana Torrini
3. Stay (Just a Little Bit More), The Dø
4. The Book of Right-On, Joanna Newsom
5. Little Bit, Lykke Li
6. The Calculation, Regina Spektor
7. VCR, The xx
8. White Sky, Vampire Weekend
9. Let It Out, Girl Talk
10. Girls Who Play Guitar, Maximo Park
11. North American Scum, LCD Soundsystem
12. Oh My God, Mark Ronson featuring Lily Allen
(Images: Bettina Nissen)
Republished in partnership with Herman Miller Lifework. Originally posted by Jamie Latendresse.