Yamaha Corp. of America’s Venova, a casual wind instrument received the grand prize at this year’s Good Design Awards, one of the most prestigious product recognition programs of its kind.

The Yamaha Venova earned the top spot — the first time for Yamaha, and the first time for a musical instrument — from a field of 4,495 submissions received this year by the Japan Institute of Design Promotion, (JDP), which organizes the annual awards program. An 82-member international judging committee conducted a rigorous five-month screening process to determine the award-winning designs.

Conceived by Keizo Tatsumi of the Yamaha Design Laboratory, the Venova — combining Ventus, Latin for wind, and Nova, Latin for new — features a unique branched-pipe body structure made of Advanced ABS resin that is smaller, lighter and more durable than conventional wind instruments. The instrument’s design is the result of repeated applied research based on virtual acoustic sound generation.

Like a saxophone or clarinet, the Venova is a single-reed instrument that produces different sound nuances depending on how you blow it. It’s capable of playing everything from powerful passages to beautiful soft, expressive melodies.

The Good Design Awards was established based on the belief that good design is essential to people’s everyday lives. The primary factor for award selection is whether or not the product can enrich society and people’s lives.

“The Venova blends the simplicity of a recorder with the expressiveness of a saxophone, providing an entirely new way to enjoy a wind instrument,” said Matt Kerns, marketing manager, B&O Accessories, Yamaha Corp. of America. “We are grateful that this never before seen design is being recognized with the Good Design Awards Grand Prize — the first musical instrument to earn this designation.”

In addition to Venova, the Yamaha REVSTAR electric guitar and Electone STAGEA ELC-02 digital organ each earned a Good Design Award in this year’s competition. The company’s Vocaloid for Education software was also recognized with a Special Award, which commends designs that further develop life, industry and society.

Since 1957, Yamaha products have earned 277 awards from the Good Design Awards.

No more articles