The Aesthetic I will be exploring throughout my project is industrial minimalism. This rather niche aesthetic often spoke to me when I was in a home or business for the first time. Exposed pipes, rusting metal, and sharp edges just scratch the surface of this aesthetic. In addition, many people leave materials un-painted, leaving a raw look that I have grown fond of. I will try to explore this aesthetic with my Up-cycling project, a shelf made of exposed piping. I plan to utilize copper or steel curtain hanging rods that I found at the dump as the structure of my shelf. The reason I chose these two material options is because they have a raw, exposed look that fits the aesthetic perfectly.

I will be achieving this aesthetic by using raw materials found at the dump. I hope I will be able to use an array of curtain hangers to mock up a design that is unique and durable. In addition, it is important to mention that I will not be using the standard shelf shape as shown in the industrial modernist image shown below. 

Instead of shaping the shelving like this, I will connect the pipes in a staggered manner hoping to achieve a unique take on the industrial modernist aesthetic. I will utilize the connecting pieces that meet at 90 degrees and use them to achieve a tall, curvy shelf unit. I hope this shelf unit will be able to be mounted or leaned up against the wall in any household. 

Above you can see a new take on the industrial modernist take. This artist used tempered wood and metal piping to achieve a rugged, sharp look. I was also hoping I could add some shelves onto my frame so I could put items like plants, cups, or plates on my shelf. I often find these shelf units in a rather gray room so the colors can truly pop into the room. I plan to use steel for this entire project so I am not only able to weld the actual shelfs onto the piping, but ensure that I will have a strong and durable final product. 

Here is another interesting orientation showing the aesthetic in a great way. This specific example shown above is more aligned with the way I want to make the shelf. I hope to utilize verticality in my design and make my shelf very tall so it pops out in the room. I also like the “rotating” design used in the design and will try to implement it into my unit. 

Although this isn’t my exact design, I think this coat hanger shows my aesthetic in a perfect light. Sharp angles, rough edges, and exposed pipe really allows the aesthetic to pop in any environment. I think the biggest challenge in my design will be finding a sufficient amount of pipe, but with many dumps around I am sure it will be possible. 

Works Cited


DECOR, P. (2023, August 16). Raw Appeal: Integrating Pipe Furniture into Your Modern Home. PIPE DECOR.


“Modern Pipe Shelves.” Iirntree, Accessed 1 Feb. 2024.

Wicaksono, Ariya Yosea. “Modernism and Architecture.” Medium, 27 Oct. 2020, Accessed 1 Feb. 2024.


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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Ethan Silverman
    February 19, 2024 5:18 pm

    Hey Alex, this is a super cool project, something I would like in my own room. This aesthetic also aligns with the industrial, metallic aesthetic of my project which I can appreciate. I really like the idea of the copper wire for the method of fastening the board to the pipes. I wonder if it will oxides over time changing its look, that would be sweet.

    • Alex Reynolds
      May 7, 2024 3:50 pm

      Thats a great point, maybe I could apply some sort of coating to avoid oxidation.

  • Garrett Miller
    February 4, 2024 9:09 pm

    Hello Alexander! This project sounds very interesting. I am also a fan of industrial modernism, and think that making these shelves would look great in any home. Just wondering: have you looked into a Brutalist aesthetic? I think taking inspiration from that would work greatly with the aesthetic you have already picked out.

    • Alex Reynolds
      May 7, 2024 3:50 pm

      I think a brutalist aesthetic would be great! Especially for this product. Thank you !


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