Post 4 – 2024 Opposite Aesthetic: Minimalist tech

The aesthetic of my upcycling project is cyberpunk tech. The cyberpunk aesthetic encompasses “low life, high tech” themes. People tend to have a sense of hopelessness or nihilism because of different issues in their society. Some of these issues tend to be crime, class uprising, and government and corporate corruption. There is advanced technology involved that people use to give them as much of an advantage in life as they can get. This aesthetic thus, involves a maximalist approach to technology.

A high life, low tech aesthetic can be a great way to find the “opposite” of cyberpunk tech, but I want to focus on the visual aspects of my artifact in particular. Cyberpunk tech tends to have a maximalist approach to design. There are visible screws holding things together. There are lots of ridges throughout. A lot of the tech I’ve seen also has lots of color, both with lights and the casing itself. I also tend to see lots of buttons or knobs and logos or text.


The opposite aesthetic for cyberpunk tech would be minimalist technology. When I think of minimalist technology I think of a lot of the technology we se now. Our phones, computers, and TVs are getting smaller, thinner, and sleeker. A great example is Apple. The iPhone has evolved into a screen with no home button and losing more hardware every time there is an upgrade. As technology advances, designs strive to be sleeker and more efficient, but still trying to not intimidate its buyers.

iPhone 15 – Apple

A recent example of this is the Apple Vision Pro as well. This piece of technology has a lot of innovative aspects to it, yet it looks very minimal and sleek. When ads for this product pop up you can’t see much of how it works just by looking at it. A lot of things are packed in a very approachable package. A cyberpunk approach to this technology would include plenty of buttons and knobs that can essentially achieve the same things, but with a much more hands on experience.


Apple Vision Pro – Apple

Hiroto Ikeuchi

For my project in particular, the minimalist aesthetic would simplify my artifact a lot. My whole goal for this project was to include as much hardware as I could get my hands on. This gave it a maximalist aesthetic in hopes to replicate what a character in a cyberpunk world would create. My sketch minimized the design to just about a screen and a few buttons. This replicates the minimalist aesthetic by packing all the capabilities of my artifact into a screen. With the current materials I’ve collected I could easily create this minimalist design. The Chromebook screen I’m using could be the main component of this design. I could just as easily make a case for the screen and add a button or two to complete this new minimalist design. Essentially a tablet.

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Wow, this was an interesting read. For some reason, I really like the look of whatever device is in the first picture. I have no idea what it is but it looks really interesting. I was wondering if it is possible to go too far with the maximalist part of cyberpunk?

  • Hey Alexis,

    This was a really interesting post to read! I think a lot of people (myself included) think of steampunk as the opposite of what we usually want, since most people these days seem to want to have more of a minimalist aesthetic. I see examples of minimalism everyday when I look at my phone, so seeing those contrasted with some of the steampunk aesthetic was really interesting. Kind of building on Alexander’s comment, do you think that Star Wars would be an example of a minimalist tech design in a movie?


  • Grreshan Ramesh
    February 18, 2024 3:20 pm

    Hi Alexis ,
    You’ve done a fantastic job contrasting the cyberpunk and minimalist aesthetics, showcasing a deep understanding of both styles. Your consideration of shifting from a maximalist to a minimalist design is impressively thoughtful. I’m curious, what inspired this potential change in design direction? And how do you plan to blend functionality with minimalist simplicity? Your project is a captivating journey in design aesthetics, and I’m excited to see how you balance these elements in your final creation. Keep up the innovative work – your approach is as intriguing as it is creative!

  • Alexander Fitzgerald
    February 18, 2024 10:09 am

    Hey Alexis, this was a very interesting read and I’m excited to see your upcycling final product! Can you point to any minimalist tech designs in sci-fi movies/TV/games/etc.?


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