Blackbird Guitars has won an IDEA product design award for their Clara concert ukulele - its second this year having already won the JEC composites innovation award. Here's the details directly from Blackbird Guitars:
The Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) announced the winners of the 2014 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) competition- a recognition of design excellence in product design. IDSA recognized Clara for exceptional utility and iconic form. Blackbird developed Ekoa flax composite over three-years and now crafts acoustic instruments using the material in San Francisco. Clara design and construction brings unmatched sonic presence and travel friendly durability while also unaffected by the humidity and temperature changes that wreck havoc on wood instruments. The 75% biobased Ekoa is a high performance and sustainable option to the endangered old-growth wood used throughout the industry.
Building on the on-going success of carbon-fiber acoustic guitars and ukuleles developed over the past decade, with Ekoa Blackbird offers a blend of vintage sound and style with their proprietary hollow-neck unibody acoustic construction. Clara is the loudest concert ukulele with the widest frequency range available, yet compact enough to fit in a backpack. "Clara's form is entirely submitted to maximizing response and the fact that the form is also iconic helps show players that this is not a conventional instrument. The IDEA award affirms our commitment to making the best instruments available", says Blackbird founder Joe Luttwak. The Ekoa construction represents a very important material solution for various musical instruments because exceptional quality "tone" comes from old growth wood which is increasingly difficult to source and stocks are of ever-deteriorating quality. Ekoa has many applications including sports equipment that would benefit from high strength, stiffness, vibration dampening and a material with a natural designer look.
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