Post 7 – Utilitarian Aesthetic Plans and Alternatives

As mentioned in last week’s post, my primary project aesthetic is utilitarian: things designed with practicality first and foremost, with its visual appeal a byproduct. This will entail geometric shapes, a handful of color palettes, and must offer utility in some form. Two alternative aesthetics that would be in stark contrast to utilitarian would be organic or minimalist.

While I don’t have a concrete idea of what I truly want to focus on for the final project, I’ve decided — for the purposes of this post and may change in the future — on specialized containers. More specifically, the containerized housing unit (CHU) is used to quickly establish temporary housing even in the most remote areas. The idea came from the UNSC Barracks structure from Halo Wars 2.

Given the scope of the project as it currently stands, I will entirely rely on creating a digital rendition using Blender. For the required dynamic aspect, I’ll animate the container to change to some degree. Of course, I’m open to suggestions about what else I could do to fulfill this criteria.

[1] Halo Wars 2 UNSC Barracks

CHU Info:

While I initially wanted to mimic the design as seen above, I wanted to play around with the idea of a hexagonal-shaped container as it isn’t something commonly seen. Figured it was something that could be seen in the foreseeable future or in a video game. Below is a rough sketch of an idea I have for the container.


[2] Utilitarian Sketch

The idea of incorporating an unfurling one side of the container and converting it into a roof came from the game, as the Barracks have one side pop out and expand when deployed. This would provide utility in additional internal space without requiring more units. Adding solar panels and antennae would further invoke the utilitarian feeling seen in military infrastructures.

[3] Organic Reference

In organic architecture, structures have an abundance of curved shapes and asymmetry. These characteristics were translated into the structure below.

The organic take on the container is definitely in sharp contrast to the utilitarian take. The incorporation of a green wall in the form of the shaded area, the balcony over the clearing, and curved edges definitely help it stand out.

[4] Organic Sketch

Likewise, I’ve done something similar for minimalism, as seen below.

[5] Minimalist Reference

The most prevalent characteristics of minimalism seen in the reference image are a seldom number of decorations and selection of colors.

[6] Minimalist Sketch

While the reference image above lacks the angled roof, I included it in the sketch to break up the monotonous shape but still retain the minimalist appeal.







Previous Post
Main Project Aesthetics: Plans and Alternatives
Next Post
Steering Wheel Aesthetic and Alternatives

4 Comments. Leave new

  • Hey Vincent, I like the utilitarian aesthetic and I really like your inspirational images, I think that style and aesthetic is really interesting and i like how “video-gamey” it feels. I think it would be interesting to see how you could incorporate the functionality of the utilitarian aesthetic into your other designs. Excited to see how this project turns out!

    • Vincent Tang
      March 11, 2024 5:49 pm

      While having the unfurling of the container as laid out in the post, I plan to model in the interior that could plausibly fulfill the utility. Bunk beds for barracks, electronics and computers for communications, etc. Depending on how the time it takes to fill the interior, I may just stick to one.

  • Jason Allshouse
    March 8, 2024 12:57 pm

    Hi Vincent, I think that Utilitarian is an interesting aesthetic and you did a very good job elaborating your plans on project execution. Are you definitely going the route of animation? If so, do you think that your experience with animation will aid in the execution of the dynamic portion? I’m excited to see how your project ends up!

    • Vincent Tang
      March 11, 2024 5:46 pm

      Yeah, the current plan is to incorporate animation (the container unfurling or something along those lines) to fulfill the dynamic aspect of the project. I don’t have much experience with animation though there’s a bunch of tutorial online so it should be sufficient.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.