Upcycling Aesthetic: Organic Modern

ATLS 4279 – Aesthetics in Design

AJ Terio



What I plan to make

The goal I have set for myself for this upcycling project is to create a functioning and miniature prototype of a mashup piece of furniture I eventually hope to complete in full size for our second major project of the semester. This piece of furniture will be made as a gift for my father and I have a specific location in the house in mind for where this piece is meant to be. It will be multifunctional in that it will serve as a combination of the following pieces of furniture: a shoe rack, a coat/hat hanger, a cork board, a mirror, and a collapsable shelf. The reason for this set of combinations is due to a lack of these utility components in this area of the house, and this area receives the most traffic. This piece will be placed inside to the right next to the back door of my house back in Northern Virginia. That is the final goal. This iteration will be using upcycled material (most likely scrap wood, wire, and moss) to test basic shapes, concepts, and design principles I am currently still working on to include in the final design. 


Why Organic Modern?

I’ve chosen organic modern for the style of choice for this project because it is the best match in regards to aesthetic contrast next to the modern kitchen (white cabinets, marble countertop, desaturated green and blue walls) transitions well in moving from the inside of the house to the outdoors. Its location is also next to a glass door, so there is much room for light and plant growth. Even still, the main features of greenery within my design will probably be made from artificial moss. The main material used will be wood, which I plan to paint platinum white, and I may incorporate silver wire as well. Some of the main features of this design that showcase the aesthetic most are going to be the ornate elements I engrave into the wood and the moss art I integrate around the cork and mirror. The locations where I see myself placing the corkboard, mirror, and hat/coat rack relative to each other is still uncertain, but I plan to confirm this when I complete the prototype to my design. 

Color scheme:


Examples of the Organic Modern Aesthetic

Example of Moss Art
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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Hello AJ,
    I think you have a really interesting concept for your project. It is a creative idea to use various furniture pieces and materials to ultimately create a new multi-purpose piece that is functional and decorative. Your concept for the construction seems very solid and your Organic Modern Aesthetic will provide a pleasing take to it. On the other hand, have you decided how you will advance your upcycling project in preparation for your final project? I know you mentioned that this would be a prototype for the full sized piece, but are you thinking of downscaling your overall design or creating a portion of the furniture that you will continue to work off of in the future?

  • Alexis Cisneros
    February 4, 2024 3:54 pm

    I really like the multifunctionality of your project. It seems like it will be used a lot. I’ve seen some moss art at the ITLL and understand the appeal of it. It is really cool and interesting to look and interact with. Your post was also very informative; with the color pallet and examples. I am really excited to see what you come up with!


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