UH Design Students Show Off Their Unique "Guitarchetecture"

Photos courtesy of UH Media Relations Office
UH industrial-design student Lindsay Lahaug working on her custom electric guitar
Shop class was never like this in high school. This past semester, 12 students in Prof. Mark Kimbrough's industrial-design class in UH's Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture have been working on a pretty hip class project: creating their own custom electric guitar to rock, blues or jazz specifications, with the assistance of the folks at Collings Guitars.

The students have been traveling back and forth all semester between Houston and the Collings factory in Austin, where they have been working under the guidance of advisers including company founder Bill Collings himself. This is no easy feat, either; one student spent several days sanding her guitar to get the finish exactly right. Supposedly some had been sleeping under their desks as the deadline approached, too.

"It's been quite a spectacular experience for everyone involved," says Kimbrough via the UH Media Office.

At 7 p.m. tonight in the Hines College's atrium (Entrance 18 off Elgin Blvd.), journeyman Texas musician Van Wilks and UH jazz-guitar professor Michael Wheeler will test out the students creations in a free concert. UH spokesman Mike Emery was kind enough to ask several of the students to send us a few words about their creations.

I started researching the truss rod and found that if I used a material that's strong enough, I can actually remove it. That's how I came up with this loop design.

Sadly, Gonzales was unavailable for comment. Still, what a good-looking axe.

Sadly, Lahaug was also unavailable for comment. But that is a beautiful guitar.

Everything in my guitar runs in one single line ... all the way from the top of the fret board down to its back. All of the wiring runs straight through it. I was actually complimented by one of the guys at the Collings factory. He thanked me for making it so easy for them to finish.

More guitars on the next page.

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University of Houston

4800 Calhoun Road, Houston, TX

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