Nygaard / Josh Brown

Nygaard / Josh Brown

Author: Josh Brown

Function: Musical instrument to transcend family heritage

Site location: designed in Savannah, GA

Year: 2014

Institution: Savannah College of Art and Design

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The Nygaard Stringed Instrument is an artifact based upon my Norwegian heritage.  By following my heritage from my ancestors’ lives in Norway through their immigration to the United States to my memories of my family today, I uncovered the importance of music and craftsmanship throughout my ancestry. In Norway, music is a staple of religious ceremony, festivals and family gatherings.


The final inspiration came from a small lucky buckeye nut that my grandfather, Roger Nygaard, has carried with him since childhood.  The persistence of that small object in my memories of my grandfather inspired the soft indentions and asymmetrical design of the instrument. As a symbol of my grandfather the buckeye also represents his persistence to succeed, unmatched work ethic and dedication to family.


The instrument consists of a Spalted maple neck, hollow body, inverted bridge and sliding wrist piece, all combined to form a sleek profile that fits comfortably into the palm of ones hand like a precious newborn child.  Indentions in the side of the body reflect the depressions of a buckeye that will patina beautifully over time.  The cast bronze pieces are inspired by my family history and represent Nordic mythology, especially through the animal-like head piece.  The bow follows the same principles as the instrument through the sleek and comforting forms.  The silhouette of the bronze keys handle is inspired by the comforting form of a buckeye, while the triangular prism that adjusts the string and bow tension is designed to honor my families religious belief in the holy trinity.

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Author: Josh Brown

Nationality: United States of America

Contacts: joshua.louis.brown@gmail.com

Institutions attended: Savannah College of Art and Design

Tutor: Professor Owen Foster 

Links to videos or websites where your project is presented: joshbrowndesigner.com

How did you hear about us: Sergi Sauras made personal contact with me about 3NTA