The Guitar as a Building to Design

Noah Burson | Post 9

Archdaily published an article about a company in the middle of Europe that produces acoustic guitars. The factory is called Lakewood and it has been around for thirty years. Martin Seeliger, the founder, notes that the company drives for cautious growth and never wants to sacrifice the quality of material or craft of the instrument.

The author describes these guitars as pieces of art, comparing it to guitar manufacturing companies like Santa Cruz and Collins. They are thought to have an old style craft transported to the contemporary age. The company defends their use of computer-controlled machines by saying they can be more accurate. It is building the guitar and making a certain sound that Lakewood takes the most pride in.

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Lakewood produces circa 1300 guitars a year

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Martin Seeliger and company

At first I found this to be an odd article to be featured on an architecture website. How does building guitars relate to architectural design? After reading the article and thinking about the process and decisions that this company has to make and stand by, I can make some parallels between the two. I believe that a person who builds a guitar to this standard and puts this much thought into it can consider themselves an architect of the instrument.

Consider the material choices; Lake wood uses many different type of wood to create an instrument they like. These include Rosewood from India and Mahogany from Ghana, mainly used for the body of the guitar. These materials have come together in specific way to provide a structure the serves a purpose. Much like a building, they make decisions on what materials they use. In order to present a certain quality, they import certain kinds of wood from abroad that have a higher cost. This makes a more elegant guitar but may sacrifice the sustainability of it production. Similarly, architects have to make those same decisions with a wider range of materials. Is it worth importing a nice material or should a design use local materials?

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The joint from the neck to the body has to withstand tremendous force

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Looking and the different grains of wood

The craft of the sound provides the specific programing. Everything about the instrument revolves around the experience of music that comes from it. In a building the program and use of the building can dictates a lot of the design process. Different design moves will effect the way someone inhabits the space. The guitar is this may but on a micro level. The craftsmen make decisions about the sound in addition to other characteristics such as how it feels to hold and aesthetic qualities.

Considering a person who designs a guitar an architect of the instrument lens itself to Archdaily publishing this article. There is craft that goes into architecture and programing that goes into the making of guitar. It may be interesting to see how one can influence the other and vice versa.

Source: Archdaily

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