The coaster, a common household accessory, has undergone a subtle evolution in design over the years. While typically serving as a functional barrier against moisture and spillage, contemporary iterations now embrace minimalist principles to blend seamlessly into modern living spaces. Among these innovations, a minimalist coaster with a dynamic diameter stands out for its ability to accommodate varying cup sizes while maintaining an understated aesthetic reminiscent of a stepped drill bit. This essay explores the concept of this innovative coaster design, highlighting its functionality and versatility within both domestic and commercial settings.

Historically, coasters have been crafted from materials such as cork, wood, or silicone, presenting as flat, circular mats. While effective in their purpose, they often lacked adaptability in accommodating cups and glasses of differing sizes. As design trends shifted towards minimalism, coasters underwent a transformation, embracing sleeker and more streamlined forms. However, the challenge persisted in creating a coaster that could effortlessly conform to the diverse dimensions of drinking vessels without sacrificing aesthetic appeal.

Enter the minimalist coaster with a dynamic diameter, a design concept inspired by the stepped drill bit. At first glance, it appears as a refined disk with a modest diameter. Yet, upon closer examination, subtle ridges or steps reveal themselves, gradually expanding towards the coaster’s base. This unique design allows for the accommodation of cups and glasses of various sizes, ensuring stability and protection for surfaces while seamlessly integrating into contemporary interiors.

The allure of the minimalist coaster lies in its functional versatility. Unlike conventional coasters constrained by a fixed diameter, this innovative design effortlessly adjusts to the dimensions of the vessel placed upon it. Whether supporting a delicate teacup or a robust tumbler, the coaster provides a secure foundation, safeguarding surfaces from condensation and spills. Furthermore, its minimalist aesthetic enhances the ambiance of any setting, harmonizing with diverse decor styles in both residential and commercial environments.

Innovation in coaster design exemplifies the intersection of form and function, where practicality meets aesthetic sophistication. The minimalist coaster with a dynamic diameter epitomizes this fusion, offering a refined solution to a common household requirement while elevating the visual appeal of its surroundings. As the pursuit of minimalism continues to influence design paradigms, this coaster serves as a testament to the enduring elegance of simplicity. Through thoughtful consideration of form and function, designers can redefine everyday objects, imbuing them with newfound versatility and charm in the modern world.


A coaster that would be radically different in this aesthetic would perhaps have many flourishes from the Baroque era, sort of similar to the interior of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome:

Interior of St. Peter’s Basilica, taken from

I was struggling on the sketching part of this, since I knew that the coaster would have many flourishes and embellishments, so I turned to DALL-E for the first time, and I think it captured what I was going for pretty well:

A coaster in the baroque style from DALL-E.

I’ve also been inspired by other students exploring the steampunk aesthetic, which features many gears and is overall very busy, sort of like this costume:

Steampunk costume, taken from

I turned again to DALL-E for its take, and after modifying the prompts slightly, it created something that is able to capture what I was thinking of, showing emphasis on the gears and intricacies that steampunk is known for:

A coaster in the steampunk aesthetic generated by DALL-E.
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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Trent Bjorkman
    March 10, 2024 3:01 pm

    Hi Josh, this is a really good post! I really like your use of Dall-E to create visuals that match the ideas you’re talking about. For a question, how would you manufacture the baroque style coasters?

  • Hi Josh!
    I think you have a great idea here. I think it is an interesting challenge to make a coaster that is versatile across many different sizes of cups and glasses. You did an excellent job of finding contrasting aesthetics to minimalism. Have you made any sketches or do you have a good idea of the physical mechanism? I am looking forward to seeing how it turns out.


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