The work of industrial designer and media artist Stanley Ruiz reflects a raw yet modern aesthetic (his woodsy speaker sticks wowed us at a Joey Roth exhibition) —resulting in folk-inspired objects that tell some sort of story about how they came to be. We think his Playlist does the same. Take a listen.
What do you listen to while you work? It usually depends on the time of day. In the morning, I usually listen to loud and fast songs from the likes of Minor Threat and At the Drive-In to keep me up and running. Midday, I settle for slower instrumental music, sometimes Explosions in the Sky or This Will Destroy You. Evenings are tricky because my mood varies—sometimes I indulge in heavy, slow music by tuning to Black Sabbath, Sleep, or Om. I listen to a wide variety of music and it keeps me from getting bored. I also listen to a lot of folk/global music from Sublime Frequencies or the Smithsonian.
How do you listen? My desktop computer is hooked to a low-end speaker system. The sound is kind of lo-fi, but hey, that's how I like it! In the studio I can plug in my iPod onto a dock…an iPod with Altec Lansing earphones would get me through most of my day—on the subway, etc.
Check out a detailed look of how Stanley constructed the Symbiosis speakers here.
Do you have any favorite music websites/providers? Sometimes I listen to Pandora, which is kind of nice depending on the station you set up. However, I noticed that sometimes the same songs are playing over and over again! For getting updated on music/gigs/bands, I check out ohmyrockness and Brooklyn Vegan. To get my avant garde fix, I go to UbuWeb.
Does music influence your work? Yes, it does. Growing up, I was heavily into punk and hardcore music, scenes that are based on the DIY (do-it-yourself) ethic. Somehow that's how I approach my designing—to make do with what's available and make something and try to be independent as much as possible. Having said that, I wouldn't mind receiving some funding for my projects!
Where do you find music recommendations? Who influences your musical taste? Most of the music I listen to is from way back—like Black Sabbath and bands that they influenced (like Sleep, that eventually reincarnated as Om). So it's like a family tree of sound. Sometimes when I listen to a random track in Pandora and like it, I then search for that band. I also go to see bands play live, which is the best way to experience music. My musical taste has evolved over the years, and I can't pinpoint any particular person to blame for it but myself. Now I can listen to Operation Ivy and right after that, a flamenco tune from Paco De Lucia, or a Gamelan ensemble from Bali, and not feel guilty about it.
If your work was a song or a musician, what or who would it be? I would have to say the Japanese noise-rock band Ruins. They are raw, loud, tight, and just crazy! They are more like a concept band—most of their songs are about ruins, artifacts, and archaeological sites like the Stonehenge. I think that's how I see my own designing as well.
See more of Stanley Ruiz's work at his website.
- Uma, OOIOO
- Arcarsenal, At the Drive-in
- Snowblind, Black Sabbath
- Unitive Knowledge of the Godhead, Om
- Loomer, My Bloody Valentine
- Meeting of the Spirits, Mahavishnu Orchestra
- Death That Sleeps in Them, Jonas Hellborg, Buckethead, Michael Shrieve
- Your Hand in Mine, Explosions in The Sky
- Just Like Heaven, The Cure
- Can't Find My Way Home, Blind Faith
- Pink, Boris
- Tensioning, Sparta
(Images: Stanley Ruiz and Tammy David)