Design as Strategy and Practice – Transformations

My life as a musician has had me playing instruments for quite a while. I started with the violin at 4, then the piano at 6, the guitar at 10, and the drums at 14. And while playing these instruments, relationships are formed with them. For most of my life I’ve been obsessed with guitars. There was always this gravitational pull towards them. It wasn’t just the sounds they made, or who played them. I was also obsessed with their aesthetic. Their colors. Their shapes. Their compact size, despite how powerful they are.

My favorite guitar company has always been Fender. They are responsible for the iconic Stratocaster guitar, and at this point, it has become almost a generic, albeit, classic design. The first run of them came out in 1954 and they changed the way popular music sounded and LOOKED for the rest of time. It set a standard for every single guitar design made after it. The Fender company came out with upgraded models in 1959, like the Jazzmaster and the Jaguar, which also have their super loyal fanbase. I am part of that fanbase. Although not as versatile as a Stratocaster, their unique shape and sound has earned them “the off-set standards.” The Fender Mustang was introduced in 1964 and also earned its loyal cult following.

Now it was time for me to actually make the instrument I’ve been playing all these years. My guitar design was inspired by all of these models, and thrown into the mix is the triangle, as a shape. In my fabrication class, Piecing it Together, I spent the semester designing and building this guitar.








My original sketches of the Triangle Guitar. Functionality was secondary. Shape was priority.  I decided to curb this extremely triangular shape and go for something a bit more pragmatic in the end.


My first iteration of the Triangular guitar. I wasn’t completely satisfied with the shape. I was also learning how to use Fusion 360, a 3d modeling program, and ran into various detours throughout the process such as file transfers not transfering properly, having to go through Vectorworks, which was a downfall in my process,  and using the CNC Machine and making a mistake in the programming, disturbing the proper measurements of the guitar.


My first 3d sketch on Fusion 360.


My second 3d sketch on Fusion 360, which became the final product. I finally worked around my mistakes the first time around. Measurements were more efficient and neat, the guitar became more ergonomic.


Foam cut on the CNC Machine.


Wood cut on the CNC Machine


Foam cut guitar, cardboard pickguard. First semi fully functional Triangle Guitar prototype. It kind of looks like a Mustang, it kind of looks like a Jaguar, it kind of looks like a triangle.

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