Joel Scilley — Designer, Woodworker
I was born and raised in suburban Florida. After high school I got as far away from malls and subdivisions as possible, studying the arts - visual art, design, architecture, literature, aesthetic theory - in Western New York, New York City, and Europe. I almost became an architect, almost became a professional academic, and almost became a non-profit civil rights worker. I earned degrees in Art History and English (BA, Hobart), English (MA, Carnegie Mellon), and Media Studies (PhD, Pitt). Somewhere along the way, the desire to make things with my hands took over and I shifted away from academic issues towards the production of physical objects.
Since 1997 I've worked consistently as a design and build carpenter/woodworker. In 2008 I started building handmade audio equipment, which I make under the name Audiowood.
I think of most of my works as small acts of architecture: things that stand on their own, and that suggest an entire way of living. I picture each of my products standing alone in a big, all-white loft in New York City; woody, but not necessarily woodsy.
Since 2008, I've had the privilege of working with clients like Anthropologie, Bushmills, Paramount Pictures, Uncrate, and various A-List celebrities. Audiowood products have been featured in dozens of major international publications like The New York Times, Wired (Germany), California Home and Design, and Velvet (Italy), and online from Gizmodo to DesignBoom to Metal and dozens of other blogs.
I was named a "Person to Watch" by New Orleans Magazine, a “Tech Designer to Watch” by Apartment Therapy, and was even lucky enough to be awarded the "Most Unique Work" award in Contemporary Crafts at 2015 Jazz Fest.
I live and work in the culturally rich 7th Ward of New Orleans.