Aesthetics in Design Portfolio

Overview of Class

Over the course of this class I created two artifacts that I am quite proud of. The first was an upcycled hook and ring game which featured that Japandi aesthetic. I was really happy with the result and have played it multiple times at house parties! The second was a Nature-core door art piece for my parent’s new house. It was created using the laser cutter and shows a serene mountain seen with trees reflected in a lake. My parents were very pleased with the final product and proudly displayed it in their bedroom. My mom even plans to get it framed and possibly relocate it to the living room so more people can enjoy it!


Japandi Hook and Ring Game

For my upcycling project I created a ring and hook game using scrap wood, spare parts from the ITLL, and borrowed wood finishing products. Manufacturing and assembling the game was a multi-day process that took around 15 hours in total. My inspiration for the piece was largely from versions of the game that are already being sold online. The game I created is designed to have a ‘japandi’ aesthetic which the final product reflects pretty well.

The game involves two players sitting across from each other at a table. The object of the game is to swing the ring and land it on the hook faster than your opponent. Both players begin swinging the ring (attached to a string) at the same time with the goal of landing it on the hook. Each time you successfully hook the ring, you move the scoring stone one space towards your opponent. The first player to score a hook with the rock closest to their opponent wins the game! It is designed to be fast paced and exciting. My favorite part is that comeback victories are common and those are the most exciting in my opinion. The game is also really easy to understand but takes some practice to get good at.

My chosen aesthetic is called japandi. It is the Japanese version of the more commonly known scandi aesthetic. The scandi aesthetic is that of IKEA furniture. It is simple and uses soft colors. It is also usually minimalistic in the sense that the shapes and designs focus on simplicity and functionality rather than intricate details. Another aspect of the japandi aesthetic is that it incorporates nature. A good measure is whether the piece could be placed in an evergreen forest and not look out of place. This aesthetic is increasingly popular in interior design applications.

Finished ring and hook game


Nature-Core Door Art

For my final project I created a dynamic art piece for my parent’s new house. In their bedroom there used to be a hole in the wall that is an entrance to an unfinished loft. My mom has requested that I create a door to cover the opening that includes an art piece. This will make the room look much more finished and will add an artistic element to the space. It is therefore extremely important that the piece is aesthetically pleasing because who wants an ugly decoration in their bedroom!? Although I suppose anything is better than the gaping hole that was there originally.

Original hole in the wall to be covered with art!


The aesthetic for this piece is naturecore. I am trying to capture the serene feeling of trees reflected in a lake with towering snowy peaks in the background. It is also important to the customer (my mom) that the color scheme of the piece goes well with the rest of the house. The color scheme primarily consists of blues and grays. In order to be consistent with this I painted the backboard blue, trees black, and mountains white. Black and white conveniently go with anything and match the colors that would exist in nature for the two elements. The black reflected trees give the illusion of a silhouette at dusk and the white mountains appear to be covered in snow. The whole scene not only matches the existing house color scheme but also highlights the naturecore aesthetic.

Door art with door closed
Door art with door open


Links to Main Project Posts

Japandi Ring and Hook Game:

Nature-core Door Art:

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