Mid-Century Modern Newton’s Cradle

It is hard to choose exactly one style that I would consider to be my personal aesthetic. I believe that the different aspects of myself can be characterized by different aesthetics. My work ethic is rather utilitarian, my wardrobe has some southern influence, and my personality is quite introverted. With that being said, I really enjoy the mid-century modern architecture, furniture, and tools around me. 


One reason I am drawn towards the mid-century modern movement is because the house I grew up in has many characteristics typical of the aesthetic. My childhood home has an exterior that consists of many clean lines. Its outline is dominated by prominent vertical and horizontal lines that provide a sense of order and simplicity. The interior has a similar feel with the addition of a few curved lines and large windows that bring in a lot of natural light which create a strong connection with the environment. Additionally, there is a lot of natural wood which pairs well with light colored walls.

I am also drawn towards the mid-century modern aesthetic since it brings with it a sense of cleanliness and functionality. I am an extremely organized person. I need everything in my room to be in the exact right location such that no furniture or objects clash. Keeping my room in such order allows me to maximize my productivity and use my room as a tool rather than just a place to sleep. The ergonomic furniture and open spaces typical of the mid-century modern aesthetic pair well with this personal trait of mine. 


I am enticed to bring the mid-century modern aesthetic into my main project. I am definitely more likely to use whatever I end up making if it matches this aesthetic, but I am not necessarily sold on the desired aesthetic yet. It depends more on what I would like to make for my final project. I have a few ideas in mind but have stopped brainstorming due to the upcycle project. My current favorite idea is to create a Newton’s cradle. I have loved these desk toys since I was a kid, and my interest in them only grew as I gained physics knowledge in my education. They are a great representation of Newton’s laws of motion in action. I think I would be able to create a Newton’s cradle that fits the mid-century modern aesthetic. I could incorporate a stained wood base, aluminum supports, and polished metal balls. I am not 100% sure on the manufacturing details yet, but it should be fairly straightforward. 


I would like to reiterate that I am not fully invested in this idea yet. There are a few other ideas floating around in my mind, and I would like to come up with some more before narrowing down the project. I just think that this is a feasible option for the time being. 



[1] Chilluffo, Garry. “Mid-Century Modern Home Tour Spotlights Indy Southside.” Indiana Landmarks, 11 May 2023, www.indianalandmarks.org/2023/05/mid-century-modern-home-tour-spotlights-indy-southside/. 

[2] Spinale, Corrina. “On the Market: A Midcentury Modern Ranch in Lynnfield.” Boston Magazine, Boston Magazine, 21 Oct. 2020, www.bostonmagazine.com/property/2020/10/21/midcentury-modern-ranch-lynnfield/. 

[3] “Vintage Retro 1980s Newton’s Cradle Steel Magnetic Executive Desk Toy – Etsy UK: Newton’s Cradle, Desk Toys, Executive Toys.” Pinterest, 30 Nov. 2017, www.pinterest.com/pin/777926535610066633/. 

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2 Comments. Leave new

    March 4, 2024 9:55 am

    I think Newton’s cradle also could represent the forward-thinking of the mid-century times–mainly space-flight! With the materials you have proposed for the project, I wonder how much it’ll bleed into industrialism and/or other aesthetics?

  • I like how you connected your personal aesthetic to with personal traits and how you maximize productivity. The newtons cradle seems like a great option to implement the mid century modern aesthetic. You mentioned some other ideas you have in your head, I am curious about some of these ideas and if you think implementing your aesthetic would be as straightforward?


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