For my upcycling project, I have decided to take some old aluminum brackets that did not work in their intended application for my laboratory and convert them into a custom table piece that sees one floating above the other one in a floating table-inspired design.

Example of a floating table by

Float art installation by Clair Morgan at:

These types of floating tables and suspended art pieces have always caught my eye both visually and in an engineering sense. First, they made me awe at the way the floating members tell a story of isolation and yet fascination for they draw the eye right away and make them feel rebellious against the nature of all things fighting gravity so that they can have your attention. At the same time, my engineering brain loves to immediately start to form a free-body diagram around the piece and find the creative and sneaky ways that artists have found to balance their creations.

Image of Recycled brackets to use for the project

These brackets are 9 inches long with a height of 4 inches and a width of 3 inches with a tapped circular hole pattern on either side of them which will make running cord through them very straightforward. I also want to make this project to be able to make it into something that I look at on my work desk and let it remind me that communication with other people working on a project and double checking that the dimensions and information you are using are correct and that the source is validated is an incredibly important part of being an engineer and developing quality and effective parts.

With this overall design, I want it to embody an industrial design aesthetic so that it not only embodies the engineering failure that I endured and the engineering marvel from floating designs but it also pays homage to the original engineering boom from the industrial revolution.

Industrial Design metal aluminum sheet wall from:

From this inspiration, I want the metals to look raw by sandblasting them and giving them a texture that is more indicative of being a used material that has been used in industry for a long time. On top of this, I am playing with the idea of making the lines between them either fishing line to make that floating look apparent or going with a more industrial wire or cord that keeps the industrial aesthetic at the forefront. I would love to know your thoughts about this in the comments!


Previous Post
Upcycling Project: Surrealism Painting
Next Post
Upcycling Aesthetic: 1800s Constellation Chart

6 Comments. Leave new

  • Hey Colton, I think the idea of a tensegrity sculpture is really cool. For the wire, I think that something akin to braided steel wire would look awesome. Alternatively, I think that having the cord be black would add a lot of contrast to the aluminum and I think would match the industrial aesthetic you are going towards. I look forward to seeing how this project turns out!

  • Matthew Osborn
    February 4, 2024 11:47 pm

    I think this project idea could be very interesting. What would the general design for the project look like? maybe a quick sketch could help my understanding.

    • Hey Matthew thanks for the comment and I hear you I will have that added for my next update post next week.
      I am still working out the details of how they will sit.

  • Hey Colton, first of all, I love the idea for this project. I think that it is a great monument to the idea of upcycling and has a lot of meaning behind it. I was wondering if you had considered using a silver paracord for a less expensive wire option. I was also wondering if you have considered how you will attach the cord to the brackets. I think that this will be an awesome project you will be able to show off on your desk for years to come.

    • Hey Josh,
      Thanks for the recommendations I look forward to iterating a bit on the different materials to see what will work best.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.