Inspiration

Andrew Ferrier Puts Metal to the (Fuzz) Pedal

Designer Andrew Ferrier spent his youth in Canada dedicated to guitars, bikes, and snowboards – all pursuits that would go onto inform and inspire his work as an industrial designer of human-centered products ranging from lighting, smoking accessories, to a modular seating system – all elegantly simple industrial forms shaped from milled aluminum. The material plays prominently across his portfolio, and appears again with his latest project: the Fuzz Pedal.

A fuzz pedal – or fuzzbox – is shaped to sit underfoot a guitarist, giving easy access to producing a heavy distort/alter sound with a characteristically “fuzzy” effect with just the tap of their foot. Ferrier’s Fuzz Pedal is a designer’s response, one seeking a more elegant form heightening the design’s function and durability of an effects pedal (something especially desirable for an object meant to be stepped upon regularly).

Side view of Fuzz Pedal.

The Fuzz Pedal is finished with an aggressively textured surface to resist and hide chipping usually seen across painted FX pedals. Its flat bottom and indented section for dials and a foot switch are to prevent accidental activation.

Prototype disassembled models of Fuzz Pedal

Milled from solid aluminum, the Fuzz Pedal’s anodized and textured surface is reminiscent of another beautifully engineered and manufactured metal cylinder, the Apple iSight. But where the iSight was designed for capturing video, Ferrier’s aluminum can-sized audio accessory is ruggedly thought out to resist chipping, a common durability issue affecting typical FX pedals over countless hours of tapping the device in and out of action.

Hands holding Fuzz Pedal plugging in guitar cable.

The pedal’s aggressively knurled pattern hides scratches and also affords the guitarist’s foot a confident, yet not too grippy, target for their toes to land upon. Equally important is the recessed section of the cylinder dedicated for the placement of dials and the foot switch itself, a detail there to prevent inadvertent activation during playing the guitar.

“Visually, the aggressive texture reflects the sonic output of the product,” says Ferrier. “The design also strives to use the shape and texture of the product to differentiate itself instead of relying on the painted graphics commonly seen in the market.”

Top and bottom of Fuzz Pedal floating against white background.

Rubberized bottom keeps the Fuzz Pedal secure from slipping around.

Fuzz Pedal is currently in its prototype phase, but according to Ferrier’s Instagram, the designer hopes to offer the Fuzz Pedal over at a-okay.ca sometime soon.

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Gregory Han is the Managing Editor of Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at gregoryhan.com.

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