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10 Apr

What happened when musical instrument designer and motorcycle designer swap roles?

Recently Yamaha came up with a fun project called AH A MAY (“Yamaha backwards”), in which they asked their motorcycle design team to make musical instruments, and the musical instrument designers to create motorcycles. The result comprised four objects, which were on display at the 2015 Biennale Interationale Design Saint-Etienne.

Yamaha Motor Co.’s design team created the amazing spherical drum set called “Raijin” (“God of the Thunder”).

“This design seeks to create an ideal form that will allow human beings to go beyond existing methods to express themselves. The design resembles a globe and allows performers to let their imaginations run wild on an assortment of different kinds of drums. Energy erupts centered on the performer and creates an increasingly visually dynamic world of sound.” -Design Center, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.


The musical instrument design team came up with “Root”.

“By taking the meters on the instrument panel off the motorcycle rider’s view, the idea of the design is to enable him or her to be a part of the passing scenery. The form was created to flow from the seat to the fuel tank and was inspired by a horse motif that aims to give a sense of unity among people, nature, and the vehicle.” -Design Laboratory, Yamaha Cooperation


Another mind-blowing object created by the motorcycle design team was called “Fujin” (“God of the Wind”), a marimba for two performers.

“This marimba is designed for two performers and allows them to add and multiply their energy. The seating of the performers brings to mind the image of a two-seater motorcycle and enables the performers to enjoy the thrill of unexpected swings and gaps as they play the marimba.” -Design Center, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.


The musical instrument design team’s other creation was “Zero Plus/Minus Zero,” an electrically power-assisted bicycle and charging stand.

“The electric-power assisted bicycle is placed on a recharging stand, and when cyclists pedal it, this recharges the battery. The battery power can then be taken out of the stand and the electricity generated shared with the family and used to power musical instruments and other electric appliances. The design aims to suggest a lifestyle that takes a positive attitude and approach toward power usage.” -Design Laboratory, Yamaha Cooperation


Check out more details and some inspiring videos of the project AH A MAY at Core 77.

resource and photos via Core 77