Yuri Suzuki is a sound artist, designer and electronic musician. His practice explores the realms of sound through designed pieces that examine the relationship between people and their environments – questioning how music and sound evolve to create personal experiences.
Suzuki was born in Tokyo in 1980. After studying Industrial Design he worked with Maywa Denki. During this period, Yuri began exploring the relationship between music and technology. In 2005, He moved to London to study Product Design at the Royal College of Art.
Suzuki’s practice is highly collaborative- working with the likes of will.i.am and Jeff Mills, as well as clients such as Google, with whom he has developed a unique AR Music Kit.
His work is seen internationally, from the Museum of Modern Art in New York to solo and group exhibitions at the Tate Britain London, Mudam Luxembourg, MoMA and the Museum of Modern Art Tokyo. In 2016, he received the Designer of the Future award at Design Miami.
In 2018 Suzuki became a partner at Pentagram, where he began working as an artist in the London studio. Suzuki and his team work internationally; pushing boundaries between art, design, technology and sound.
What is an Alternative Thinker for you?
An alternative thinker is not affected by trends, their concepts are primarily coming from crucial matter.
What are you bringing forward in your work?
I always bring forward my personal experience, as sound design is almost impossible to satisfy all people, all the time. Sound is quite sensitive and subjective. Based on my long time of sound research, I can then come up with the best solution, then present it to the public. What drives me to create work is some uncomfortability, something missing in society.
Why did you highlight this/these specific project(s) below?
My primary interest is audible communication. As I feel sound is the strongest communication medium.
My sonic sculpture project is purely based on community improvement projects.
For example, Welcome Chorus, which was designed for making a specific anthem of an area, uniting existing and new communities together.
Cooperation can also be an alternative mode of communication, which could cause a deeper understanding of one another and our bonds together.
What would you like to see change in the current economy?
I think mass-consumerism and technological development have gone further than we should reach. The current economy has fallen due to Covid-19. Whilst this is an awful experience, it will be a catalyst for us to re-think human nature, and our relationship to the world and the state of the anthropocene.
Tell us what your vision of the new world – post COVID-19 – is like?
Of late, we have been moved from physical experiences to virtual experiences due to Covid-19. At some point we will come back to a pre-covid time but for a while we have to experience alternative communication methods and socialising. Now we are primarily considering these topics.
What are the questions you have been thinking of for years and never had the time to answer?
I am not a technical person but in order to realize an idea I tend to use new technology or methods. One is AI: machine learning could make incredible work for us, making the almost impossible become a possibility. Such as listening to 1000 people singing and digesting and creating a song from this data.
Meanwhile, these processes also alarm me; how they can be used for no fact checking.
As it could be easy to make a fake vision and audio from these algorithms at some point or even now we lose the sense to identify what is ‘real’.
Who would you like to collaborate with in terms of brands / institutions / property developers / other Alternative Thinkers?
I would be highly interested in not just music but also the world of fashion, film and entertainment industry.
The Pyramidi : series of mechanical instruments can play through digital control signal.
The Welcome Chorus : an interactive AI sculpture that continually learns from visitor input.
Sonic Playground : colorful sculptures that modify and transmit sound in unusual, engaging and playful ways.