A Designer's Back to Back Home Office and Playlist

A Designer's Back to Back Home Office and Playlist

Gregory Han
Jan 23, 2013

As is quite clearly stated on his website, J. Zachary Keenan makes "marks for personal and profitable endeavors". Keenan, who shares a South Minneapolis studio with his wife Caitlin as well as two original Eames chairs, makes marks that include everything from logo, identity and print campaigns, to product design, illustration and even music production. His music tastes cover just as much ground, as you'll hear in this week's Playlist.

What do you listen to while you work? Everything, literally. Motown, garage rock, jazz, shoegaze, folk, Hawaiian, etc. Almost anything that's been released from the Ghostly International label finds it's way into my work day.

How do you listen? A pair of Grado Labs SR-80 headphones--really light, so I can wear 'em for long stretches of time. And the open-air design let's me hear what's going on around me (like my son waking up from his nap in the next room).

Do you have any favorite music websites/providers? After years of organizing and archiving a combination of MP3s and vinyl, I'm almost embarrassed to admit that Spotify has become my one-stop-shop for just about everything.

Does music influence your work? It does. Not necessarily in aesthetics--maybe more so in attitude. Music is always an important part of the studio environment, but never just playing "in the background". I hope that the creative work I produce plays a similar role in people's lives.

Where do you find music recommendations? Who influences your musical taste? Most of my friends and family have really great musical tastes. I think the seasons have the biggest influence on what I'm in the mood to hear.

What song or artist best represents the work you create? Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band. I'm not saying that I'm anywhere close to that amazing. But I like to think that I have a similar value in craft and work ethic. And I'll take "timeless" over "new hot" any day.

Ideal place to sit and listen to your playlist: The ideal place to sit and listen to my playlist is an Eames Walnut Stool (in "A-shape" configuration) -- because you may be sitting and listening, and then you might want to get up and dance.

J. Zachary's Playlist:
1. Small Axe, Bob Marley & The Wailers
2. Shuffle, Bombay Bicycle Club
3. I Confess, The English Beat
4. Faded High, Gayngs
5. Lufuala Ndonga, Konono N°1
6. Police & Thieves, The Clash
7. Vapour Trail, Ride
8. Atlantic City (cover), The Hold Steady
9. Romulus - Sufjan Stevens
10. Asleep, The Smiths
11. Island, IS, Volcano Choir
12. Like Gold, Erlend Øye
(Images: Caitlin Keenan)

Republished in partnership with Herman Miller Lifework. Originally posted by Jamie Latendresse.

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