Zanderclaus – Steampunk coffee machine –

Steampunk is an aesthetic set in an alternate reality or fantasy world where man never progressed past steam power. The Aesthetic is based around the 19th century/victorian era with an emphasis on gears and exposed metal. Not only is the style reliant on metal and steam engines but often has elements of woodworking with many of the machines being a mashup of antique woodwork and futuristic mechanisms. The aesthetic also has a theme among clothing and style, such as protective goggles and intricate prosthetics.

Stephen Jacobsen – Steam punk man –

The origins of Steampunk are attributed to 1980’s authors such as H. G Wells and James Blaylock, and the term was coined by fantasy author K. W. Jeter who was looking for a term to cover these works. While Steampunk was not the first genre of historical fiction involving alternate paths of technological development it soon became the most popular and well known. Another feature of steampunk is the variety of the aesthetic with some authors sticking to a dystopian steam powered society lagging behind in technology to futuristic worlds where the steam engine is more complex than our current technology. Some examples of this are flying fortresses and entire cities built floating on steam powered blimps.

Mark Lehoczki – Steampunk Flying Ship –

Additionally many of the recent artworks of the Steampunk Aesthetics are AI generated due to the complexity and difficulty attributed to creating it.

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Steampunk is definitely one of my favorite aesthetics, I love how unique and imaginative it is. I think you did a great job discussing the history behind this art style, I had no idea it was so recent as the 1980s! I also liked how you talked about its context in relation to AI, you are right it is a very detailed aesthetic which can sometimes be hard to design. I know you mentioned steampunk in art and fashion, but do you know of other examples in the real world, for example furniture or architecture? Overall, great post and I loved the pictures you chose to represent it.

    • Finbar McKemey
      January 30, 2024 9:14 pm

      Hi Sophia, I haven’t seen any real world Steampunk architecture around although I think it would look pretty cool. As for furniture, some western themed bars get pretty close to the aesthetic.


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