The Playful Playlist and Home Studio of Akira Yoshimura

Lifework

Growing up in Japan, designer Akira Yoshimura developed a keen tactile sense and early appreciation of distinctive forms and objects. His passion for aesthetics and keen ability to express beauty through the manipulation of dimension laid the foundation for ShyShadow. Formed in 2007, ShyShadow produces an array of products from paper to furniture to home goods, seeking to promote a unique interaction between people and the products they use. Akira shares the unique interaction between himself, his work and his musical tastes in this week's Playlist.

What do you listen to while you work?
I listen to various genres of music from modern jazz, to house, to 90′s Japanese hip-hop.

How do you listen?
While working on my iMac, I prefer listening to music from my Audio Technica earphones. I always buy a pair or two when I visit Tokyo and have a good collection next to my workstation.

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If I am doing more physical work, such as silk screening tote bags or cutting paper to create prototypes, I really enjoy listening through Harman-Kardon SoundSticks (above).

Do you have any favorite music websites/providers?
Definitely Pandora, it exposes me to new songs and musicians of similar taste. I must have bought over 50 songs this year alone! I recently started listening to NPR Music on late nights.

Does music influence your work?
Yes. Jazz, while working on loose concept sketches. House/Electronica/Hip hop - Staring at the computer, clicking the mouse like a heart beat, trying to create those exact lines I had imagined, or working on presentation boards (below). Sometimes I listen to the same tune over and over again to get momentum.

Where do you find music recommendations? Who influences your musical taste?
My very close friend (who used to live in NYC) is one talented drummer. He has introduced me to countless live music events in NYC from Brooklyn to Harlem. I can recall occasions when we were up till dawn listening to live Jazz in the West Village. I normally brought my sketch book and did quick doodles. His knowledge of music has had a profound effect on what I listen to today.

What song or artist best represents the work you create?
"Big Country" by Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. Such an uplifting melody, it resembles my philosophy and approach to design.

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Ideal place to sit and listen to your playlist:
The ideal place to sit and listen to my playlist is from a high-rise apartment, [sitting in] the Eames Molded Plywood Lounge Chair with Metal Base (Walnut Veneer Seat) and looking down on the busy streets of a large, crowded city, where cars and trucks go by like flickering neon signs. Once windows are tightly shut, and silence embraces your space, you are ready to hit the first tune.

The form of the chair allows you to sit in many ways. My music selection crosses over many genres and resembles the versatility this chair possesses. I think of Herman Miller furniture not just as furniture but rather as timeless sculpture pieces. They continue to vividly enhance your lifestyle wherever you live.

Akira’s Playlist:
1. Set Me Free, Kevin Yost
2. Nadia, Nitin Sawhney
3. Dream Machine, Mark Farina
4. Ad Lib on Nippon, Duke Ellington & His Famous Orchestra
5. I Say a Little Prayer, Rahsaan Roland Kirk
6. Red River Revel, Brian Blade Fellowship
7. Mind Ecology, Shakti (with John McLaughlin)
8. Red Clay, Freddie Hubbard
9. El Aparato, Café Tacvba
10. Tamacun, Rodrigo Y Gabriela

(Photos: Akira Yoshimura)

lifework2012-02-22 at 2.10.00 PM.jpgRepublished in partnership with Herman Miller Lifework. Originally posted by Jamie Latendresse.