Over the next few weeks we will be highlighting award-winning projects and ideas from this year's Core77 Design Awards 2012! For full details on the project, jury commenting and more information about the awards program, go to Core77DesignAwards.com
Designer: Brian Chan
Location: Cambridge, USA
With a passion for music but with a need to travel Brian Chan was frustrated with the proportions of the ukulele. With his already impressive portfolio of intricate origami Chan created the Laser-Cut Ukulele. The plans and instructions are available to anyone who share the same frustrations with the ukulele as Brian did.
This is an instrument modeled after the traditional Hawaiian ukulele. Unlike the standard ukulele, this folding version is collapsible—therefore ultra portable—and designed to be made on a laser cutter so that it can be replicated rapidly.
How did you learn that you had been recognized by the jury?
I found out through e-mail, but I later saw the video and enjoyed seeing the other projects on the Core77 site.
What's the latest news or development with your project?
Currently, this ukulele is available as a kit and as a finished instrument (constructed by me personally) through the rapid prototyping site Ponoko.com. I'm still looking into producing and promoting the finished instrument through more efficient means, so that it can be more available to the casual ukulele hobbyist. In the meantime, I'm developing a few other folding instrument designs.
What is one quick anecdote about your project?
My interest in origami was one of the things that inspired this project. I enjoy bringing the instrument to origami conventions around the world, it's a great way to pass the time while we're not folding.
What was an "a-ha" moment from this project?
When I decided to use the slotted construction method for the joints—this was inspired by the plywood dinosaur kits I used to build as a kid.