As featured in the Timber and Forestry E News
WOOD scientists at the DAF Salisbury Research Facility and a leading manufacturer of Responsible Wood-certified premium grade plywoods have partnered with architects and academics to produce the world’s largest acoustic guitar – centrepiece for Brisbane’s Curiosity Festival, a 17-day celebration of science, art and tech, which starts this Saturday, the 13th of March 2021.
The ‘Immersive Guitar’ – launched by the Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre and constructed mostly within Griffith University – gives audiences the rare experience of being inside a musical instrument. This has been achieved by upscaling a standard acoustic classical guitar 11.5 times from its original size, with some necessary modifications.
The completely portable and weatherproof building is inspired by an acoustic guitar’s percussive as well as harmonic and melodic capabilities. The plywood walls and sound boxes and guitar strings operate as an acoustic instrument so participants will feel the vibrations as they pluck the strings and tap the walls.
The instrument, 4 m high and designed as a canopy, lies on its back with seating around the internal outline of the guitar’s ‘belly’. Steps lead to a platform in the middle, enabling audiences to pluck the six strings while light shines in through the guitar’s sound hole 2 m overhead. The giant guitar has been constructed in a collaboration with the Salisbury research centre and Austral Plywoods, using Responsible Wood-certified hoop pine (Araucaria cunninghamii) from HQPlantations.
The Brisbane-based plywood manufacturer supplied some 100 sheets to the guitar project, consisting of 2400 x 1200 x 4 mm exterior 100% hoop pine BB and 2400 x 1200 x 16 mm structural 100% hoop pine BB.
The guitar is the result of 12 months’ work from artistic conception to visual design, engineering, testing of string-weights and detailed collaborative construction planning.
“This is a truly trans-disciplinary arts project led by the Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre in collaboration with the Griffith University’s department of engineering,” project co-leader Professor Vanessa Tomlinson said.
Along with other project co-leaders Karin Schaupp and Dr Hassan Karampour, the project team includes architect Bruce Wolfe, research associate Dr Jocelyn Wolfe, luthier Jim Redgate and building certifier Cath Patterson.
Partners include Conrad Gargett, the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Austral Plywoods and Philip Chun Building Certifiers.
The project will be officially launched on March 18.
Caption: Creative team players at Griffith University Professor. Vanessa Tomlinson, head of percussion, Karin Schaupp, head of guitar, and Dr Hassan Karampour, senior lecturer in structural engineering.