For a first warm up project, students were asked to create an artifact that conforms to an aesthetic, one that they or a classmate has researched. The artifact should be made at least partially from upcycled materials, i.e. inexpensive or recycled material, something easy to manipulate using additive or subtractive techniques: cardboard, foam core, drywall, sticks, plastic forks or plates, soda cans/bottles, Legos, bubblewrap or packing peanuts, stir sticks, straw, hay, cloth, papier Mache, tires, DVDs, PVC, food, plastic bags etc.. The artifact should be of moderate size, something between 0.5 and 8 cubic feet; can be small but must be viewable without a microscope, or up to as large as a chair.

“Motion in Static Life” – Wireframe Sculpture

For my upcycling piece, I chose to make an abstract wireframe sculpture. For the body of the structure, I solely used straightened paperclips and rubber bands. The feet are made of Play-Doh. Inspiration The initial inspiration for the project was the idea of creating something using simple, repetitive tasks. My mind tends to race, so…

35mm Film Lamp

Deciding on an upcycle project was difficult. It was overwhelming to look at all the possibilities online, and it was even more overwhelming to try and come up with a completely original idea. After digging around on the internet for a long time and not being captivated with anything I saw, I decided to dig…

Aluminum can model

Sketch based upon can wheel side and photo Here it is the #16 PBR racer, complete with rolling wheels, rear suspension, and movable steering. The motorcycle is designed as a cafe racer with large v-twin engine, short clip on handlebars, and exposed frame (see image below). Every piece was made from 16 oz. Pabst Blue…

Bicycle Chainring Clock Completed

As a competitive triathlete and avid cyclist, I thought it would be a fun project to make a bicycle chainring clock. What motivated me in this project was not only my love of anything to do with bicycles, but the fact that I am graduating this Spring and I wanted to give my collegiate coach…

Bicycle Component Clock

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  Original Inspiration Intro Almost a year ago I visited a friend and saw a bicycle disc rotor hung on the wall. I had seen a few pieces of bicycle art before but this caught my eye and I walked over for a closer look. It was a functional and clean looking wall clock. The…

Bicycle Inner Tube Watch Band: Finished Project

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After a long two days of cutting, sizing, and stitching, I have finished my inner tube watchband. So far, it’s turned out a lot better than I thought it would. I initially chose to do this because I am a bike racer who has lots of bike parts lying around and I wanted to use…

Bicycle Inner Tube Watchband: Project Report

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After a satisfying design process and two days of building it, I have finished my inner tube watchband. So far, it’s turned out a lot better than I thought it would. It’s waterproof, comfortable, looks hip, and upholds the bike aesthetic that I love since I am a cyclist myself. I will detail in this blog…

Bottle Cap End Table – Completed Project

Below is my design report for the upcycling project.   Design Vision/Specifications: When looking into starting the upcycling project I knew that I wanted to make a piece of furniture for my apartment. While I enjoy creating art, I felt that it needed to also have a function in order to be justified in bringing…

Bottle caps: An American Crest

When I sat down to think about what I wanted to do for this upcycling project, I wanted something that could last, something that I would like to keep around.  I ended up using a blend of two things I like very much: beer and the United States of America.  I decided to use old…

Bottle Table Lamp

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My bottle lamp has been “completed”! Overall, I’m proud of the finished product, but I definitely have some ideas for improvements to make to it over the next few days/weeks. Let me get into the actual process to go from the bottle below, to the lamp you see above. Initial Ideas, Research, and Inspiration As…

Broken Tea Cup Mosaic Purse Upcycle Report

I was initially inspired by the aesthetic of mosaics. I love the texture and the various applications, as well as the potential to use recycled materials, whether broken glass, pottery, beads, etc. A lot of the mosaic projects I am familiar with are classic cement-based or grouted ones, such as my inspirational examples below. Inspirations:…

Candy Stripe Wall Ornament

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The goal of this upcycle project is to create vibrant art pieces that you would want to hang on your wall, all for the low price of some milk jugs or buckets. What I will be melting down is HDPE plastic, or High Density Polyethylene. You can find this plastic in every day milk jugs.…

Candy Wrapper Desk Lantern

The Inspiration The initial idea for my up cycling project started with the currently trendy bucket hat. Although the bucket has long been the functional choice of fisherman and children while outdoors, it has recently caught on as a street wear fashion accessory. The current trend is a really unique aesthetic that is created by the fabric that is…

Cardboard Hexagon Lamp

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One of my primary gripes with most upcycling projects is that they often seem to leave behind just as much trash as there was before the project started- after sawing apart a bicycle, or stripping the components and plastic from some discarded tool just to use a component in the name of recycling, I thought I would…

Colorful Glass Shard Pot

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My upcycle project was a glass shard decorated bottle potted plant! To all of those who read my original “planning” post regarding my upcycle project – you may have realized that while my project function has changed, but materials are kept the same. You’ll read about why I ended up making this change. And that change…

Contemporary Industrial Coaster

As a personal fan of the contemporary industrial aesthetic I wanted to capture it within my upcycling project. I appreciate the simplicity of this aesthetic, but also how it doesn’t sacrifice strength or quality. I wanted something that would be useful in my life, but also add a subtle intricacy that was not immediately evident. I…

Contemporary Side Table

For my first Aesthetics of Design project, the challenge was to upcycle in some way. I’m a fan of upcycling, but I wanted to build something that I wouldn’t just throw away after graduation. I wanted to build something that I could foresee in my house someday. Because of this, my table might not look…

Credit/Gift Card Upcyling

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  Introduction and Inspiration I was scrolling down on my Facebook timeline one day until I ran into a video of someone recycling old credit/gift cards (traditional plastic card you use every day). The video featured him making keychains, guitar picks and replaced missing remote battery hatches. I thought it was such a creative idea…

Decorative Aspen Branch Light

Initial Design Process My original idea for this project was to create a thing. I knew that I wanted to make something cool, so I looked up pictures of upcycled projects on Google. I saw a lot of cool things, and I thought that I wanted to make something out of doilies. I had in…

Decorative Book Storage (Upcycle Completed Report)

Inspiration For this up-cycle project I took old books and made them into decorative storage. My inspiration for this is from a product that I had when I was about 8 years old. It was a book-safe that had the appearance of a book, but also allowed for storing valuables. The first few pages were…

Explosive Nutcracker

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Last year for Christmas a friend gave me an unloaded grenade as a gift.  Since getting a chance to play with it, the triggering system has fascinated me.  The system is very simple.  The pin holds the lever (or spoon) which holds back a spring loaded striker.  When the pin is pulled and the spoon…

Giving SORRY a New Look – Upcycle Complete

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For my Upcycle project, I recreated the board layout used for the board game SORRY. This idea came about because I like the idea of converting scrap wood from a previous project into something useful. It sucks when you can’t use small sections after cutting up the main piece! Additionally, I have an Uncle who…

Glass Flowers

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Glass Flower Inspiration The inspiration for glass flowers came when I was shopping with my family one weekend and saw some in a store window.  It was some time ago and I really don’t recall where I saw them but remember thinking that it was a clever use of old glass.  I inherited some beautiful…

Hard Drive Clock

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Introduction My upcycle project began when I decided to use paper as my recycled material. Half way through I felt that using fresh paper wasn’t really considered upcycling, and it was more like crafting something from scratch. So instead, to be more in the spirit of upcycling, I chose to recycle old electronics that have…

Hundreds of Packing Peanuts – Report

Material Selection When starting our “upcycling” assignment, I decided that it would be important for me to source materials that are truly being reused, rather than thrown away. Moreover, I set a goal that I didn’t want to purchase anything for this project (I thought it would be bending the theme of upcycling a bit). When…

Indoor Thermometer & Hygrometer

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First Steps For my upcycing project I decided to make a home weather station from some recycled hardwood flooring and some spare electronics I had around the house. To start I used a DHT11 sensor breakout board to sense the current temperature and humidity. These values are read by an Arduino ProMini ($2 from sparkfun’s annual sale a few years…

Industrial Puppy – Final Report

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  Inspiration This exploration into an artistic creation has been very different than my usual design loop. I started with a problem of “make something”, which in itself is a much different jumping off point than I’m used to. What’s more, even once I figured out what I was going to try to make, I…

Jeff’s Smokin’ Keg

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For the up-cycling project, I have decided to make a BBQ smoker out of an old beer keg. The reasons are making a BBQ smoker is simple really, I like good food and I like hanging out with friends. Smoking meats adds flavor while still allowing the meat to be very tender by cooking them…

Laundry Basket Chandelier

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My vision for this project began with bettering the light in my living room. Much like many college homes in Boulder, the main rooms lack built in lighting. There is a lack of lighting over our kitchen table so I decided to design a chandelier that would add character to the room and light our…

LED Spiders and firefly

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Figure 1; Design Process (Created By: Erick Pena, Gardner Nichols, Mathew Tabor) In class two of my teammates and I created an interpretation of the design process as seen in Figure 1.  The process that I followed was very similar to Figure 1 as you can see that the processes is not very linear as…

Life size Pokemon Project Report

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Pokemon(Owned by Nintendo, Game Freak and Monsters inc.) is commonly known as a consol game where you raise creatures called Pokemon, fight with them, and become the strongest trainer in the world. There is also a manga, anime and card game for it. This project focused on creating a life size version of one specific…

Light Bulb Candle

My inspiration for this project came from a few different things. First, I really wanted to use the most basic materials I could to create something new and artistic. I didn’t want to go to the store and buy a bunch of new material for my project. I wanted to create something that anybody could…

Liquor Bottles to Cups

I decided to turn liquor bottles and spaghetti sauce jars into cups for my upcycling project.  The idea originally came from when my roommates and I did not have many cups and we started using old Prego sauce jars as cups.  Soon after we started to upcycle Prego jars I stumbled across a Reddit post…

Minimalist Cardboard Stool

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From the start of this project I knew I wanted to make something out of cardboard. I had wanted to make a piece of cardboard furniture ever since I saw photos of cardboard chairs a few years ago, and this project was the perfect time to do it. Additionally, there was a ton of excess…

Molten Aluminum Art

Inspiration For this Upcycling project, my inspiration came from the Anthillart.com video on making anthill art from molten aluminum.  The fixtures created and sold on the website contained approximately 18 pounds of aluminum.  After facing difficulty locating an empty anthill near Boulder, I decided to try a different approach.  The YouTube artist “The Backyard Scientist”…

Mushroom Lamp Upcycle Report

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  Featured Mushroom Lamp   I was inspired by my friend Davis Thompson.  Several months ago he started constructing mushroom lamps.  From what I saw, he mainly was using thick bark.  Additionally his mushrooms were dyed to look realistic.  They were various shades of brown and were placed in natural forming patches together, sticking out…

Natural Lighting Fixture

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My main drive for the upcycle project was to turn a log into something useful. At first I was uncertain on the route to take with my piece. A few initial ideas were a chair, coffee table, and chandelier. The coffee table was automatically ruled out due to its comical role in the class room.…

Old School Stool

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The stool, made from a bike rear triangle. [1]While looking at bike stuff on the internet, I came across these stools. I have some scrap frames and junker bikes, so I filed this away as a project. Realizing that there is so much more that can be done with these, I decided to switch away…

Origami Nightstand

I wanted to design and create something useful for my upcycle project. I have wanted a nightstand for a while, so I decided to make my own. The desk in my bedroom is covered with stacks of homework assignments and exams from last semester, and I wondered if there was some way to incorporate old…

Pallet Flag | Final Report

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Aesthetic Choice: As a fan of the modern rustic look a few people brought up in Aesthetic Explorations, I decided I wanted to do something with an old shipping pallet. I figured they would be easy to get a hold of, relatively easy to work with, and I would have lots of options for what…

Record Player w/ Organ Pipes

Introduction   My upcycling project began with a trip to the ReSource scrapyard and a faint idea for a sculpture design.  I quickly realized that my idea would have to change due to the available material constraints.  The brainstorming cycle became: “what could I possibly create with this material?”.  Many items would inspire an idea and ensue…

Recreating a Classic Poster with Acrylic and Vinyl

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Introduction My relationship to the upcycle project can be categorized as nothing but tumultuous. The aspect of the this assignment with which I struggled with most was not time constraints or a lack of resources, but rather a barrier of creativity and originality through which I could not breach. I saw upcycling as a beautiful concept:…

Red Bull Gives You Wings

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The upcycling process, for me, took some really interesting turns during the design process. I originally started off with the idea of creating art using cassette tapes and/or paper clips. This proved to be much more challenging for me than I thought going into to project. I could not get the cassette tape to form…

Report – Woven Tape Measure Chair

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Inspiration In Hong Kong I came across this shop called “GOD” (Goods of Desire) selling handbags made of woven seamstress tape measures. It was a clever way to make a durable product, but like most things at GOD, these bags were extremely over priced. Sometime later in the Guangzhou fabric district I came across the…

Shell cases upcycling report

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The inspiration of my upcycling project is from the military style artworks made from military materials. When I was a child this type of products were very popular in the souvenir stores around the Chinese military bases for sale. I have seen people make some beautiful and practical stuff by using fired shell cases. Here…

Shotgun Shell Lights Final Project

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After some exploration and creative thinking, I ended up creating a string of shotgun shell lights. I based my project strictly around using empty shotgun shells. I initially thought of creating art for art’s sake and using the shells as the border or outline. I also thought about using the brass to make drink coasters…

Strandbeest Report

Animaris Umerus, Scheveningen beach, The Netherlands (2009). Courtesy of Theo Jansen. Photo by Loek van der Klis Motivation As a future engineer taking Aesthetic of Design class, one of the first things that came in mind was the work of artist and physicist Theo Jansen. It all started in 1090 when he started building the Strandbeest…

Surf Board Night Stand – Completed Project

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Here is my completed surfboard night stand! I have wanted to do this project for a while, because a summer back I drove this surfboard all the way from my hometown in Newport Beach, CA. And this was the first time a well thought out idea had come to mind during the upcycle project. The…

Television Liquor Cabinet

Vision: For my up cycle project, I wanted to create something not only visually appealing, but also useful. I have had my eye on an old television set, faux wood and all, collecting dust in my girlfriend’s parent’s basement for a little while. With a little searching through the internet, I was inspired to make…

Texan Steer Bike Wall Hanger

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Bikes are a wonderful component to living in Boulder, as a capstone to the great infrastructure in the community I’d like to build something to hang my bike on. Something I love most about bikes is their simple mechanical design and tability to rebuild them. I think this behavior epitomizes upcycling and not just the…

The Bird’s Nest

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My project has come a long way from my brainstorming and loose materials into the upcycling design it is now. Below I explain my process and my goals and desires for this project and how I felt I reached my goals or not. Reality vs. Imagined My actual process was very different than how I…

TV Terrarium Completed Project

TV Terrarium   I started CU’s Super Smash Brothers club during 2013’s spring semester.  It’s pretty well known that Super Smash Brothers players are notoriously picky about the input lag on monitors.  Three of the consoles most commonly used (the Nintendo Gamecube, Nintendo Wii, and Nintendo 64) all output video via VGA standard definition cables.  When playing…

Upcycle project report

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Design Process    I am a big fan of cars. For this upcycle project, I planned to make a car made of pure recycled stuff. However, finding the right parts of the car is a tough issue for me. I researched online and found that the idea of rubber band powered car would be a perfect…

Vinyl Record Clock

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The aspect of the this assignment with which I struggled with most was not time constraints or a lack of resources, but rather a barrier of creativity and originality through which I could not breach. I saw upcycling as a beautiful concept: at times, turning something vaguely useless into something with purpose; and at others,…
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