Architect Ray Tam left the advertising industry to begin studying architecture at the University of Oregon. After finishing his degree, he began a new focus on the rehabilitation of affordable and market-rate multi-family housing while working at BASIS Architecture and Consulting. Ray is also involved with the Bay Area Young Architects, part of San Francisco’s AIA chapter, and is a photographer. We asked him to take time out of his creative endeavors and design a sound musical structure for us in this week’s Playlist. Take a listen.
What do you listen to while you work?
It really depends on what I’m doing. If it doesn’t require heavy thinking, I usually like to catch up on podcasts, mostly from NPR. If it is somewhat design oriented, I tend to prefer down-tempo electronica or classical music.
How do you listen?
Depends on where I’m at. If it is in the office, I usually listen with headphones either plugged into my computer or iPod. I use a Bluetooth wireless headset so I don’t worry about accidentally yanking out my earbuds when I get up or move around.
Does music influence your work?
Not at this point in my design career, but it does help me slow down and pay attention. For songs that I’ve listened to over and over, there have been several occasions where I’ve noticed a particular sound, beat, or rhythm that I didn’t notice before and I try to carry over that awareness to my design process.
Where do you find music recommendations? Who influences your musical taste?
Pandora or the iOS App Shazam if I’m out in public and hear something I really like.
What song or artist best represents the work you create?
I am just beginning my career in design, so I don’t have a body of work to represent. But I wouldn’t be able to narrow it down to one song or artist, it would depend on the type of space. For example, if it were personal space, like a home or private office, I’d like it to be calming, minimalistic, and relaxed, something like “In the Waiting Line” by Zero 7. If it were a public or social space, it would be something much faster and more upbeat.
The ideal place to sit and listen to this playlist is the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman if you’re relaxing at home or the Aeron Chair if you’re listening at work. I’ve had an Aeron in my home office for almost a decade now. I got it because it was the perfect balance between form and function.
1. Viejo Abasto, G-Spliff
2. Gotta Be Love, Joey Youngman
3. Arrabal, Gotan Project
4. Dunk, Noiseshaper
5. Mi Swing Es Tropical, Quantic & Nickodemus
6. Reality Check, Stigmato Inc.
7. Get Enough, Telemark
8. Transcendence, Thievery Corporation
9. Intro, The XX
10. A Little Soul, Pete Rock
11. Yachts, A Man Called Adam
Photos and renderings: Ray Tam