Devon Turnbull aka. OJAS: The art of sound redefined - industrial concept store

Devon Turnbull aka. OJAS: The art of sound redefined

by @industrialkonzept Team

In the universe of hi-fi audio, one personality stands out in particular: Devon Turnbull. His bespoke sound systems not only shape the sound of renowned locations such as Supreme Stores, but also exclusive star interiors and private homes. Mark Ronson, Virgil Abloh, Nigo and many renowned record producers are among the admirers of his work. But the visionary founder of OJAS and co-founder of the influential Nom de Guerre brand is more than just a craftsman of high-quality sound systems.

Turnbull's path to building loudspeakers began early. In middle school, he was already experimenting with homemade sound systems made from salvaged parts. This passion for audio continued in high school and during his studies in sound engineering. He was particularly fascinated by high fidelity sound, an interest that deepened in the early 2000s. He originally started out building turntables before moving on to building every component of his home system, including speakers.

Devon Turnbull and Nigo

Devon Turnbull (right) and Nigo (left) - First public OJAS listening room, built in collaboration with USM Haller and Kvadrat Akustik, located in the USM showroom in the heart of downtown NYC.

In addition to his work on OJAS, Turnbull co-founded Nom de Guerre, a creative collective that formed in 2002 and lasted until 2010. The brand was born in a small space on the corner of Bleecker and Broadway in Manhattan. This project was a collaboration between Isa Saalabi, Holly Harnsongkram, Wil Whitney and Turnbull himself, who all came from different creative backgrounds. Nom de Guerre quickly became a hotspot for streetwear and sneakers, with special collaborations such as the Red Wing x Nom de Guerre shoes.

One of his most defining collaborations at the time was with Buzz Rickson's, a Japanese brand specializing in the meticulous reproduction of military clothing. Turnbull's enthusiasm for their attention to detail led to a collaboration that he cherishes to this day.

Devon Ojas Listening Room

HiFi Listening Room Dream No. 1 in London

The relationship between Turnbull and Virgil Abloh, which began shortly after the end of Nom de Guerre, was also significant. Abloh, influenced by Turnbull's earlier work, sought contact and developed a deep friendship and professional collaboration. They exchanged ideas about audio equipment and music and eventually worked together, with Abloh commissioning Turnbull's speakers for his "Figures of Speech" exhibition.

Devon Turnbull in Collaboration with Virgil Abloh

Turnbull's speakers for Virgil Abloh's "Figures of Speech" exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum - Photo: Danny Perez, Brooklyn Museum

During the COVID-19 quarantine, Turnbull developed the OJAS Kit project. These kits allow customers to build their own speakers at home with minimal tools. The success of the project was overwhelming, and it quickly resonated with a creative community who found joy in personalizing their speakers.

Speaker Kit by Devon OJAS

Assembled speaker kit from OJAS

Turnbull's contribution to sound culture extends far beyond his studio work. His systems can be found in several prestigious venues, including Public Records in NYC and Supreme Stores. His work at Public Records, one of his largest projects, demonstrates his ability to integrate hi-fi sound concepts into larger venues. This experience has taught him how to combine subtle midrange with powerful sub-bass to create a unique sound experience.

Devon Ojas Supreme Store

Devon Ojas Supreme Store

Devon Ojas Supreme Store

Devon Turnbull's installation at the Supreme Store Seoul, 2023

Turnbull's career, characterized by curiosity, creativity and a deep passion for music and design, is an ongoing journey of innovation and artistic expression. His work, whether in fashion, design or audio, reflects a deep understanding of the power of creative synergy and the importance of quality and authenticity.

"Music is the most powerful art form. When we think about music venues, we have concert halls, jazz bars and nightclubs - and those are really cool ways of experiencing music - but a lot of the time the recorded music becomes the masterpiece."
- Devon Turnbull / OJAS

Daniel Arsham - Devon Turnbull Speaker

OJAS speaker system in the home of renowned artist Daniel Arsham - Photo published by Daniel Arsham (Instagram Story)

Devon Ojas

Photos: © Devon Turnbull (Instagram)

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