Useless Box Inspiration! (Impact of 20th Century Design Movements)

As mentioned in previous posts, the aesthetic that I am going for is a simple yet futuristic look. I want to give the appearance that there is a small robot inside the box, which acts as his house. This was primarily inspired by the two movies; star wars and Wall-e as well as oscar from sesame street. I want the look of the robot on the inside to look like a cute and friendly robot like many from the movie in Wall-e. It was also inspired by the scene from star wars where R2D2 and C3PO are kidnapped by Jawas and there are multitudes of droids also in the vehicle. Although that scene was somewhat dark gave me the idea of making the box of steel and given it a somewhat trashy appearance. It’s hard to explain, but I liked the concept of a dystopian world and this box is the only thing that the robot has.

DroidsFigure 1: Droids from Star Wars

This best relates to a combination of Modernism, Bauhaus, and Deconstruktivism. The modernism inspires the futuristic look as well as strict design that constitutes a sense of order. Finally, the modernism movement included a great deal of metals such as steel and straight simple forms, similar to what I plan on having. The reason I mentioned Bauhaus was because just like Modernism, Bauhaus incorporates simplicity, repetition, and functionality. Finally, I thought that deconstruktivism best reflected the dystopian and trashy look that I had previously mentioned. Although that is not necessarily what deconstruktivism is about, it had a lot of broken and shredded forms, which I thought looked somewhat post-apocalyptic.

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 1.51.35 AMFigure 2: Example of Modernism

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 1.51.16 AMFigure 3: Example of Deconstruktivism

In terms of progress, I got the package at the very end of spring break. I have started working on the coding to figure out how to get the arduino and the stepper motor to work to make the mini robot open his “door”. I think I want to either use the squirt gun idea, but don’t quite know how to do it still.

Works Cited



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3 Comments. Leave new

  • Mathew Tabor
    April 30, 2016 8:58 pm

    Man, if you were able to get this to mix all of those aesthetics that would be awesome! I think the Oscar cover photo you’re using is perfect actually, the beaten up and dirtied metal. I envision less of a robot than a weird creature coming out of this run down home, but either way this type of aesthetic tells a little more of a story than many others. I think putting some focus/effort into the appendage that actually flips the switch back would be a good way to spend some time and could really round out the project.

  • chris coffman
    April 3, 2016 10:50 pm

    Great description of how the 20th century design movements impacted your project. I think Bauhaus is a great example of how your project should work using simplicity and repetition aspects. I think a stepper motor would be perfect for what you want to accomplish, although I probably can’t provide you much help in that area.

  • Roshan Misra
    April 3, 2016 10:01 pm

    Nice job defining the aesthetic inspirations for your project! For the squirt gun, one thing you might be able to is design some kind of linkage between the stepper and trigger where when the stepper rotates past a certain position it pulls the trigger causing it to shoot you with a squirt gun. Definitely let me know if you need any more help with the stepper stuff or debugging code. I would be more than happy to take a look at it after class if you need some assistance.

    I’d also love to hear more about why you like the idea of portraying a dystopian type of future with your box. Is it meant to be a social commentary, or more just an artistic choice from a purely aesthetic side?


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