Studio Soundtrack #5 - Brad Ascalon


Relay Design Agency spoke to New York based designer Brad Ascalon about his studio practice and the music that influences his designs for clients including Intel, L'Oréal Paris and Mitab .

Brad Ascalon Portrait by Steve Belkowitz bw.jpg

What is the first thing that you do when you get into your studio?

After pouring myself a cup of coffee, I turn on the music to set the mood for the morning. If I’m working on contracts or research, it will be something instrumental that is calm and relaxing (usually Classical or Ambient). If I’m doing design work, it can be practically anything, from jazz to indie rock to heavy metal. Anything except Country music. Then I clean off my desk from the night before, and I go to work.

What is your most treasured studio item?

I have a collection of wine bottle corks that represent all of the times I celebrated a new product/collection launch. Each cork reads the client, project and date, and they are all aligned on a shelf in front of my desk. They all come from a particular bottle of 2005 Cabernet Franc that I stocked up on years ago from a winery near our weekend home on the North Fork of Long Island, NY.

What would be your dream project?

I’ve been working on one of my dream projects for close to four years. One of the most cherished and historic furniture brands

on the planet. Fingers crossed, it will be launching within the next few months. Another dream project would be to design a bridge that spans a major river in the world.

How is music important to your creative processes?

Music is extremely important to not only my creative process but to my life. I’ve been a musician my entire life. I studied Music Theory in college. I play both guitar and piano on a daily basis as a form of meditation, to unclog my head so that I can be my most efficient in the design studio. And certain composers (Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Keith Jarrett) have been the most influential forces in my design work.

What do you do to relax after a day working in your studio?

I love to cook, so when my wife comes home after a long day or work, I like to have dinner prepared with a nice glass of wine. Or I’ll skip the cooking and go straight to that glass of wine!


About Brad.

Brad Ascalon’s award-winning studio was founded in 2006. The multidisciplinary designer specialises in furniture for the contract, hospitality and residential markets, as well as
lighting, packaging, and other consumer products. With a reductive approach to his craft, Ascalon believes in design that is uncomplicated, rational and manages to find the perfect balance of form, function and concept.

Through this approach, coupled with a strong understanding of strategy-driven design opportunities for his clients, Ascalon is widely regarded as one of the leading American design voices of his generation.

Brad has recently been nominated for Best Interior Design of Year award for his Ascent bench for Mitab. Learn more at

Image courtesy of Brad Ascalon.