Whether experimenting with air, space, light, or form, the work of designer J. Kyle Daevel inhabits the dimensional world with equal parts precision and imagination. After receiving his BFA from the University of Memphis, Kyle moved on to an MFA at Cranbrook Academy of Art. Since then his studio has output everything from furniture to graphic design to public art. His eclectic work is complemented by his equally eclectic taste in music. This week's Playlist explores the musical dimension he inhabits.
What do you listen to while you work?
I love listening to Johnny Cash when I work, from the Sam Phillips-produced Folsom Prison Blues to Rick Rubin's American Recordings.
How do you listen?
If I'm collaborating or sharing space with another designer, I'll use headphones. If I'm working solo in my studio, I typically stream through the cloud to my phone, computer, or television.
Do you have any favorite music websites/providers?
I'm listening to The Pixies right now through Pandora as I'm doing this interview. I'll usually connect to a station of one of my favorite artists and then let it stream.
Does music influence your work?
Most definitely. One of the first clients in my career was the STAX, the record label Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding, and Booker T and the MGs made famous. The firm I was working for in Memphis - LRK - won a project to recreate the original STAX recording studio as a museum and design a new STAX Music Academy. I designed the environmental graphics and signage, which were very much influenced by STAX music and the music culture. I was probably a little spoiled early in my career getting to work on such a fun project.
Where do you find music recommendations? Who influences your musical taste?
Having lived in Memphis, Detroit, and Chicago over the past 15 years, I'd have to say that my musical taste is highly influenced by the area I'm living in. I keep a very open mind about styles of music, and love sampling new artists.
What song or artist best represents the work you create?
I really admire Andrew Bird's live performances. They're a wild mixture of process and execution.
Ideal place to sit and listen to your playlist:
Without a doubt a light blue Eames Molded Armchair with Rocker Base is the best place to listen to my playlist. Being a rocker it gives you a nice little warm up before your are compelled to jump up and start dancing. Plus, it provides the perfect amount of comfort for taking a break. Those Eameses were two clever designers.
1. Folsom Prison Blues, Johnny Cash
2. Hands of a Working Man, Big Ass Truck
3. Shake ‘Em on Down, North Mississippi Allstars
4. Mercy Mercy Me, Marvin Gaye
5. The Naming of Things, Andrew Bird
6. Dead Millionaire, Beverly Fre$h
7. Seven Nation Army, The White Stripes
8. Chicago, Sufjan Stevens
9. God's Gonna Cut You Down, Johnny Cash
10. Train from Kansas City, Neko Case
(Photos: J.Kyle Daevel, except "Detroit Numbers" (top), by Travis Roozee)
Republished in partnership with Herman Miller Lifework. Originally posted by Jamie Latendresse.