If designer Colleen Hill isn’t art directing for Goodby Silverstein & Partners, you might find her teaching interaction design and visual communications at her alma mater, the College for Creative Studies. Of course, if she’s not there, she might be leading the Detroit chapter of the AIGA as its president. Yep, Colleen is pretty busy. So if she hasn’t turned up in one of those locales, try turning up her atmospheric audio selections in this week’s Playlist.
What do you listen to while you work?
It really ranges based on the type of work I’m doing and what phase of the project I’m working on. If it’s something that requires more thought, like preparing a lecture for the class I teach or working through a concept, I find lyrics distracting, so I listen to something that can fall to the background like Yann Tiersen or Stereolab.
How do you listen?
My office has an open floor plan which requires the use of headphones. I just purchased a second pair of Sony MDR-7506’s after my first gave out after 10 years of dedicated and reliable service.
At home I have several speaker hook-ups throughout my apartment and I plug my iPod Touch in directly.
Another thing I’ve noticed about how I listen is that I tend to get stuck on a song and listen to it on repeat at least 10 times a day. Two recent examples of that have been New Order’s “Age of Consent” and Edward Sharpe’s “Home.”
My office is above the Fillmore Theater in Detroit, which tangentially influences my work. Occasionally I listen to the rumbles of bands warming up downstairs. I love watching the vast range of people waiting in line for the doors to open. This week it’s kids and parents to see “Sesame on Broadway”; last week it was Marilyn Manson fans.
Do you have any favorite music websites/providers?
Does music influence your work?
Yes! I often get caught up in the lyrics to songs. A few years ago I incorporated The Pixies and David Bowie lyrics into a series of valentines I printed and mailed to friends (photo below).
This past summer I was asked to create wedding invites for two friends who are avid music lovers. We ended up going with a gig poster format and had them screen printed at a local shop (above).
Where do you find music recommendations? Who influences your musical taste?
Most of my music recommendations come from friends. There was a point in my life where I was better at following music, but lately, that time has been spent prepping for class and reading about design. Lucky for me my friends have good taste.
What song or artist best represents the work you create?
This is a tough question! I would say lcd soundsystem. James Murphy’s music is upbeat, but the themes he explores are serious at times. His music is influenced by the great artists that came before him, but he’s able to build off of that to create something new.
Ideal place to sit and listen to your playlist:
The Eames Molded Plastic Armchair with Rocker Base in Aqua Sky. It’s the perfect spot to relax after a day of work — you can rock back and forth to the beat with a glass of Belgian beer in hand and a cat on your lap.
1. Care of Cell 44, The Zombies
2. Age of Consent, New Order
3. Cut Your Hair, Pavement
4. The Party’s Crashing Us, Of Montreal
5. Holland 1945, Neutral Milk Hotel
6. All My Friends, lcd soundsystem
7. Small Stakes, Spoon
8. Home, Edward Sharpe
9. 7/4 (Shoreline), Broken Social Scene
10. Amsterdam, Peter Bjorn and John
11. Center of Gravity, Yo La Tengo
Photos: Colleen Hill
Painting (over couch) by Stephanie Buer.