Fret Haus Studio and 2021 Exhibition in Mobile

Fret Haus, a guitar design studio and senior thesis program, is a collaboration between SIGD faculty members Keith Medley, Rich Britnell and Randy Bartlett. Britnell originally developed the idea for Fret Haus because so many of his students were interested in guitars and music. This innovative curriculum has led to a fruitful partnership with industry professional Medley, who is Master Luthier and Product Development Manager for Gibson Guitars.

The Alabama Contemporary Art Center in Mobile hosted Fret Haus 2021, an exhibition of student design work centering on guitars and related accessories. The current Fret Haus exhibition includes nine guitars designed by students in 2019 and 17 guitars from this year’s studio, as well as a guitar and CAD models and renderings from last year’s show that was cancelled due to COVID-19. Bartlett’s students collaborated with Britnell’s fourth year students throughout Spring 2021 to create unique mounting concepts suitable for displaying the custom designed and fabricated guitars.

Rich Britnell is Professor of Industrial Design, Randy Bartlett is the Bauhaus Quasi Endowed Professor, and Keith Medley is Professor of Practice in the School of Industrial and Graphic Design.

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Research, Student Work