Alternative Aesthetics – Puzzle Box

My current plan for the aesthetic of my project is to create a wooden puzzle box with celtic patterns and engravings covering the exterior faces, as well as potentially some wire inlays. However, I would like to explore alternative aesthetics to see how this project might look in other contexts and styles.

One option is an industrial theme – I could use different types of metals as opposed to wood, and rather than glued dowels and hidden fasteners, I could intentionally feature bolts and screws placed strategically to add to the aesthetic presentation of the artifact. Below is an example of a puzzle box created in a sort of adjacent style. This inspiration image features brass hardware and mechanical/gear motifs, which are elements that I would incorporate into my industrial aesthetic. Below is also an image of what the color scheme might look like – mostly aluminum but with brass and copper accents which add depth and complexity to the exterior appearance. Some portions of the mechanism could be featured externally as well, as long as it does not provide an advantage when figuring out how to open the box, and extraneous gears, pins, and slides could be used as red herrings to make the puzzle more difficult.


Another aesthetic which could be used for this project might be that of 50s-60s cars, radios, furniture, and other artifacts featuring a retro-futuristic style. This aesthetic typically features bright and attention-calling colors paired with grills, radial patterning, antennas/protrusions, and other facets such as wings. These stylistic elements were often featured on cars (as with mid-50s Chevys), radios, and guitars (like those made by Teisco in the early 60s). I particularly like the hexagonally-patterned grills and patterned lines as seen on the right side of the radio and rear wing of the car. Other elements that would be interesting to include might be the offset style featured in the trapezoidal speaker on the radio or the angled body style on the guitar that appears to lean forwards. Embossings and trim composed of long flowing lines are also very characteristic of retro-futuristic objects from this time and would be beneficial to include should I choose this aesthetic for my project.

I will explore further into these styles and expand upon my ideas for the main project, incorporating new elements and experimenting with alternative aesthetics like these!

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1 Comment. Leave new

  • India Johnson
    May 9, 2023 12:49 pm

    Hi Nate!
    These are both great options as alternative aesthetics. I personally enjoy the 50s-60s automobile influence. I think there’s a wider variety of shapes, colors, and overall a little more flexibility in that aesthetic!


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