Brendon Bussy

Workshop: Young Industrial Designers Grock Harps

Posted in Design, New Old Old New, Workshops by Brendon Bussy on May 12, 2011

This week I completed a two session workshop with 4th year students at CPUT’s* industrial design department.  A basic crash course in stringed instrument building where bits of junk, cans, offcuts and fishing line became prototype designs for the African instruments of the future.

So here are a few of their creations:

A cardboard tube played something like a West African Ngoni. It sports a kevlar bridge (it was an offcut, so it counts).

cardboard tube ngoni

Made and designed by Cliff Beckett and Brent Ismay and played here by Jacques Fabre

A harp played like a Malian kora which reminds me of one of those Robot War constructions:

tank kora

Made and designed by Max Basler and Anine Kirsten

A harp made from heavy duty piping and a sardine can (wonder where he got the idea from?) ;).  It reminded me of Congolese harps like this one:

pipe harp

Made and designed by Tyran Cooper and Jacques Fabre

This very cool broomstick bass using a bucket as resonator.  Chris Metcalfe seen playing it here, must be congratulated  on his  well chosen tie/bucket matching colour scheme:

bucket broom bass montage

Made and designed by Chris Metcalfe and Karl Schulschenk

We also did a short brain storm session where I asked the students to come up with ideas for a ‘Wearable Instrument’. Here are a few of the concept sketches:

Graeme and Dane came up with two ideas – a ‘guitarless guitar’ which can be tuned by arm flexing, and ‘sound glasses’, essentially an eye tracking controller attached to a synthesiser of some kind.


And Karl’s ‘Racket Jacket’,  a texture enhanced jacket played by rubbing with textured sleeve patches:


Coming soon to your local music store.

And finally, a secret message: if any of the workshop participants are reading this, the clue is TIMBRE  😉

*Cape Peninsula University of Technology

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