Rustic vs. Minimalism | Opposite Upcycle Aesthetic

Post 4: Opposite Upcycle Aesthetic – Hailey Usher


Opposite Aesthetic to Rustic 

Hi everyone! As per my last few posts, my chosen aesthetic for our Upcycling Project is Rustic. To achieve this aesthetic with my design, I’m choosing to go for an “aged” wood look; I’m not going to worry about any imperfections or discoloration either. To serve as a reindeer, here’s my cardboard prototype of what I’m working toward. 

I’m excited to share that I’m starting the process of laser-cutting my wood scraps today! I just have to figure out the final dimension of the wood piece before I commit to cutting out the layers and assembling them. 

This blog post serves as an interesting opportunity to consider my project from another angle. 

After giving it some thought, I’d come up with the aesthetic that I feel is the polar opposite of the rustic aesthetic, and that is the minimalist aesthetic.

Since I only have a vague idea of what the minimalist aesthetic entails, I did some light research on the aesthetic, and its “rules.” 

Here’s what I found about the minimalist aesthetic (source): 

  • Clean, sleek 
  • Perfectionist 
  • “Less is more,” conservative approach 
  • Plain colors (white, black, etc.) 

My Vision for a Modern Design

If I were to design my piece in adherence to the minimalist aesthetic, I’d have to change almost every aspect of its design. 

First off, the materials would need to be changed from rough, discolored wood, to a sleek, smooth surface, such as acrylic sheets or plastic. 

For the color, I’d opt for either white or black. I’d only use one color in my piece to ensure that the design is as clean and simple as possible. 

For the design of the bird’s layers, I’d switch from a detailed, layered design to maybe one or two layers made up of a few lines (so less detailed than my original sketch). 

Finally, for the backlighting, I’d keep the LED lights, but opt for either a cool- or warm-toned white to match the simplistic theme. 

Overall, I still would love this design, even though it strays a lot from my original idea. To help you visualize this design along with me, I’ve included a sketch I made of the changed piece. 

How This Would Change My Plan

A big reason why I chose the rustic design in the first place is because I have easy access to scrap pieces of plywood to work with; I also have LEDs and wood stains I can reuse. So, if I were to go for a minimalist design, I’d have a much more difficult time finding clean, smooth materials to use for my piece. 

Moving Forward

I thought it was a fun experience to consider my ideation and design from an alternate angle. However, I’m happy with my current progress, and can’t wait to move forward and finish my project ahead of the due date this Monday! 

As always, let me know your thoughts on my progress so far. Thanks for reading!

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1 Comment. Leave new

  • Jess Corbitt
    May 8, 2024 11:30 am

    Personally, I think that modern aesthetic is the opposite of rustic but I can see similar elements in minimalism. Rustic is near and dear to my heart as it was a common aesthetic where I grew up. Would you consider hand-painting false wood grains to math the rustic aesthetic?


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