Interview with designer James gifford (Jg), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Fender Acoustic Sfx Guitar Amplifier.

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Interview with James gifford at Monday 11th of April 2016: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
Jg : Connecting Acoustic guitar playing to the amplifier in a very organic way. What does Acoustic mean to the player and the audience, and how can this be captured.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
Jg : Being able to make the connection between the player and amplifier, as well as highlighting some of the natural beauty of the materials used in the creation of acoustic guitar and amplifier. The scope was to create a product that was not only beautiful and sounded rich, but easy to understand and use.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
Jg : The plan is to take this design language and proliferate it into other product families.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
Jg : This concept took 2 years from concept to market release.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
Jg : The idea behind this project was to explore what could be done 'outside of the box' for an acoustic amplifier. Through player insights and observations could we create a better product that provides a higher level of experience for both user player and audience.

DI: Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?
Jg : We are currently producing this product ourselves.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
Jg : We specialize in guitar making, and being able to create a world class amplifier that enhanced the acoustic guitar was the main drive.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
Jg : Bent plywood furniture - Eames

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
Jg : Acoustic guitar players and Acoustic guitar aficionados.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
Jg : This is not a typical square box covered in vinyl as most of these types of products are. The sonic quality is much higher than most products in this category.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
Jg : The name of the product is based on a technology that is utilized within - SFX, combined with Acoustic.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
Jg : Solidworks software and Keyshot software. Common woodworking tools and specific bent plywood tooling was also utilized to make this work.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
Jg : The bent plywood shell, the use of the subtle angle in the control panel for user access, as well as the unique soft touch handle for ergonomic feel.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
Jg : The team from IDEO in San Francisco. They assisted in the gathering of valuable user insights and information as well as initial design concepts.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
Jg : The algorithms used for the sonic quality, and the combination of both plastics manufacturing and bent plywood technology married together.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
Jg : From the purely user standpoint, a hierarchy of controls was studied via user observations and data to create the best layout on the control panel. Multiple models and prototypes were created to test the sound in different environments as well as test the portability and use of the unique handle.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
Jg : All of the different materials and processes required to bring this product together in a way

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
Jg : We are very proud of this product and what we have achieved, and we felt it was important to share this with the world.

DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
Jg : We learned that we can take chances and experiment to break out of the normal mode.