RKS Guitars was honored with two 2005 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA). RKS Guitars' two Silver IDEA wins were in the Consumer Products category for its electric-hued, user-friendly "Pop Series" of instruments, and in the prestigious Design Strategy category for RKS' proprietary "Open Architecture" construction. RKS Guitars' dramatic neck-through-body design, customizable features, and uniquely engineered sonics represent the most revolutionary structural and aesthetic design overhaul and renewal that the instrument has seen in fifty years.
In its official statement on IDEA '05 winners, IDSA wrote, "The electric guitar evolves. RKS thrills musicians with new structure and colors, and environmentalists by reducing the amount of exotic wood used by 66 to 80 percent."
IDSA's environmental mention refers to "tonewoods," extracted from the rain forests of South and Central America. Historically, the average electric guitar -- 4 million of which are made annually -- requires 6 to 8 pounds of this precious material. U.S.-made RKS Guitars use less than 2 pounds per guitar and employ only domestically raised tonewoods cultivated on tree farms in the Pacific Northwest. The resonance factor for which tonewood is relied upon is compensated for through the physics of RKS Guitars' 2005 IDEA-honored "Open Architecture" sonic design. Cited for Design Strategy, the concept revolves around a core instrument perfected for balance, ergonomics, and tone, allowing for ribs and bodies in a huge variety of finishes and colors to be attached to generate different styles for a broad range of markets. In essence, RKS has created the first "limitless guitar."
Recognized with an IDEA '05 Award in Consumer Products, RKS' Pop Series line is a perfect example of the dramatic flexibility of the Open Architecture paradigm. Exhibiting the trademark "no-compromise," performance-enhanced experience for which RKS Guitars is known, the Pop Series offers cutting-edge, versatile instruments at an attractive consumer price-point, and is produced in a rainbow of saturated colors. The Pop Series brings an altogether new visual phenomenon to the guitarist and audience that complements the auditory delight derived from instrument's stellar sound.
Ravi K. Sawhney, whose RKS Designs has won multiple IDEA Awards amongst its many citations, served on the 2004 IDEA jury and is the initiator of IDSA's and BusinessWeek's renowned Catalyst Award. The Catalyst takes traditional design competitions one step further by saluting excellence in the market and financial accomplishments as well as strategic and societal impact. Sawhney also conceived and served as the head juror for the California Design Biennial, the second exhibition of which is currently on display at the Pasadena Museum of California Art.