Joanna Kuczek's profile

Redesign of a guitar for Raising Malawi

Raising Malawi
HIV/AIDS has had a particularly devastating impact on children in Malawi, Africa the fourth poorest country in the world. A 2008 UNAIDS report estimated 640,000 children are orphaned because they’ve lost both parents to the disease. Raising Malawi is founded in the spirit of Ubuntu, an African philosophy that acknowledges the common bond between all people. There is a saying in Ubuntu: “I am because we are.” Translated simply, it means, “Without you there is no me. Your fate is mine.”

My goal was to create a symbol for every child effected by this epidemic, in the image of a butterfly- beautiful, fragile, and longing to be free, with the message of Ubuntu on the inside “ I am because we are.” This is an interactive piece, when closed it looks like a Map of Africa, indicating the location of Malawi through the positioning of the guitar tone & volume knobs. When opened it becomes a butterfly.
Finished product
Progress photo, painting of the details 
Planning stage
First coat, painting of the black outline
Progress photo, the message laser cut out of one of the wooden wings
Painting of the interior
Wings/Map cut out of wood
Guitar neck disassembled
Redesign of a guitar for Raising Malawi


Redesign of a guitar for Raising Malawi

This project was created at the School of Visual Arts, NYC at the MFA Designer as Author program. We were each (18 of us total) given a fender gu Read More