Form, Function, and Design of The Contemporary Guitar
There will be very few critics who will disagree that in an ideal world all made objects should be designed to be as attractive, usable, and efficacious as possible, staying within the constraints of the original problem they are trying to solve. How well things look and work is often a measure of the quality of their design, but beauty is ultimately in the eye of the beholder. Even though no design can be perfect, that does not mean that every design is a failure.
We tend to evaluate designs not against absolutes but against each other. The better hose is just that–a better hose, and this may be reason enough to admire it. Often a design is praised merely for its aesthetics, with other constraints shadowed by the glow of the beautiful object. Architects may prefer form over function, while engineers may sacrifice aesthetics in meeting function. Thus a bridge may not fit into the natural beauty of the highway the same way an architect would imagine when designed by an engineer. Neither form nor function should overwhelm the other in design, but in the real world, one is often achieved at the expense of another.
The ultimate context of design is of course the human user. Many designed things are considered “one size fits all,” and so if they were to fit anyone perfectly it would be a statistical coincidence. This being the case, the rest of us must make do with the given design. We can shop around and try a different brand or model of a designed object, hoping to find the one that seems to be made for us. Most likely we will never find such a thing and therefore we compromise on a different choice, selecting a less attractive chair because it is more comfortable or picking an uncomfortable chair because it looks more attractive.
Considering this point of view we need to discuss the future of analogous-acoustic guitar design. Here are some considerations I would like to discuss in regards to contemporary guitar design and the future of the instrument we all love to hear and play. All of these elements will be discussed and all things will be considered; after all, the future is in our hands.
Table of Contents
- Gravity Powered Guitars
Bevels and Rests
The Bucket Brigade Guitar