written by:
April 6, 2014
Doshi Levien’s corrugated steel furniture elevates the design of DIY homebuilders.
Shanty Cabinet by Doshi Levien

Shanty Cabinet by Doshi Levien. "It’s important to find beauty and ingredients you can play with from around the world," says designer Nipa Doshi. "It’s amazing what you can make with simple materials.” Image courtesy of Doshi Levien.

1 / 4
Shanty Cabinet by Doshi Levien

Side View of Shanty Cabinet by Doshi Levien. Taking cues from improvised dwellings worldwide, the Shanty Cabinet—a colorful, kinetic play of metal waves and patterns—showcases the spirit and creativity of those DIY homebuilders. It's a fitting example of the cultural mashup approach taken by their London-based studio. Image courtesy Doshi Levien

2 / 4
Corrugated Steel Construction in India

Corrugated steel construction at Humayun's Tomb in Delhi. “For me it’s a positive beautiful thing to find inspiration from, what people are doing in a very humble way,” Doshi says about improvised, corrugated steel construction around the world. “There are many people who think these neighborhoods aren’t beautiful. But for the people who live there, they put a lot of care into what they built for themselves. We love the composition of the corrugated steel, that’s used to make these amazing structures. They are the authors and architects of their own dwellings.” Image courtesy of Doshi Levien.

3 / 4
Sketch of Shanty Cabinet Design

A sketch of the Shanty Cabinet. When Doshi Levien began creating these cabinets, they wanted to celebrate contemporary design that didn't follow a strictly European approach, according to Doshi. The final product elevates corrugated steel beyond mere industrial functionality. Image courtesy of Doshi Levien.

4 / 4
Shanty Cabinet by Doshi Levien

Shanty Cabinet by Doshi Levien. "It’s important to find beauty and ingredients you can play with from around the world," says designer Nipa Doshi. "It’s amazing what you can make with simple materials.” Image courtesy of Doshi Levien.

Context and circumstance can elevate even the most humble materials into the foundation for inspired design. Taking cues from improvised dwellings worldwide, the Shanty Cabinet—a kinetic play of metal waves and patterns designed by Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien—showcases the spirit and creativity of those DIY homebuilders. A fitting example of the cultural mashup approach taken by the London-based studio Doshi Levein, these cabinets elevate corrugated steel beyond mere industrial functionality. They also celebrate contemporary design that’s not coming from a strictly European approach, according to Doshi.

“We’re always searching for beauty,” Doshi says, “and for us, it’s in very humble architecture and the way people work with their hands. It’s important to find beauty and ingredients you can play with from around the world. It’s amazing what you can make with simple materials.”

Designed for the playful Spanish company BD Barcelona and showing at Salone del Mobile in Milan, the Shanty cabinets come in a multicolored version, as well as a handful of monochromatic models.

“For me it’s a positive, beautiful thing to find inspiration from, what people are doing in a very humble way,” Doshi says. “There are many people who think these neighborhoods aren’t beautiful. But for the people who live there, they put a lot of care into what they built for themselves. We love the composition of the corrugated steel that’s used to make these amazing structures. They are the authors and architects of their own dwellings.”

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

shiver me timbers tallow wood kitchen
A pair of married architects put their exacting taste to work on their own family escape in the Australian bush.
May 24, 2016
in the balance small space massachusetts cantilevered cabin glass facade
When nature laid down a boulder of a design challenge in the Massachusetts mountains, an architect’s solution elevated the project to new heights.
May 24, 2016
Wooden Walkways
A home in Ontario, Canada, demonstrates how factory-built housing can be as site sensitive as traditional construction.
May 24, 2016
15 icff 5
From Corian furniture to immersive installations, here are some of our favorite designs we saw at the 2016 shows.
May 24, 2016
gpphoto44
A home and community celebrate natural remove in unison.
May 24, 2016
With our annual issue devoted to the outdoors on newsstands, we did a lap of Instagram for some extra inspiration.
May 23, 2016
forest for the trees english prefab mobile home facade chesnut cladding
On the edge of a historic park in an English shire, a prefabricated home sets a new design standard.
May 23, 2016
tread lightly australia
A family home on Australia’s Mornington Peninsula is built to blend in with its lakeside setting.
May 23, 2016
jardins party dining room hay chairs local wood floor
A pair of architects help a client carve out an oasis of calm amid São Paulo’s bustle.
May 23, 2016
hwm6zf 1
No matter where you're located or what time of the year it is, having a fireplace in your home is a treasure that’s continuously sought after. Besides the obvious benefits of keeping a fire going through the cold winter months, it can also be a cherished asset that provides an extra level of year-round comfort—not to mention how it can help define the layout of a space by acting as a sculptural element.
May 23, 2016
An office Crosby Studios designed for NGRS in Moscow
Crosby Studios just cares about the essentials.
May 22, 2016
cold sweat seattle floating sauna gocstudio
A cadre of designers let off steam after hours by building and sailing a seaworthy sauna.
May 22, 2016
in the swim off the grid campsite healdsburg california swimming pool solar heat lap pool ipe deck loll designs lounge chairs
An off-the-grid house that is little more than a decked campsite—albeit with a roof—includes a swimming pool for a family that loves to enjoy the elements.
May 21, 2016
A print by Kristina Krogh
From flat to physical, Kristina Krogh masters every dimension.
May 21, 2016
scifi
Every week, we highlight one amazing Dwell home that went viral on Pinterest. Follow Dwell's Pinterest account for more daily design inspiration.
May 21, 2016
beverly hills living room piano view
Architect Noah Walker, principal of Los Angeles–based studio Walker Workshop, shares completed and work-in-progress residential designs on his Instagram page (@noah_walker). Take a peek at some of the striking modern houses here, and tour the Venice House on the Dwell Home Tours on June 26.
May 20, 2016
ripple effect san fancisco small space yard outdoor monica viarengo pebble mosiac artificial turf slide
A San Francisco landscape designer finds a small-space solution that’s anything but narrow-minded.
May 20, 2016
Oslo living room with light wood floors and wood slab table
A pair of designers in Oslo, armed with tricks for introducing color and daylight, remake their compact late-19th-century apartment.
May 20, 2016
family affair backyard addition portrait
In coastal Massachusetts, a resourceful couple and their equally enterprising children use reclaimed materials to create a versatile 168-square-foot backyard building.
May 20, 2016
speed machine australian beachside prefab archiblox facade colorbond ultra steel cladding queensland blue gum wood
With little time to waste, an Australian firm erects an efficient prefab overlooking the ocean.
May 20, 2016
Christian Benimana at Design Indaba
When he was younger, there wasn't a single architecture school in his country. Now, as part of MASS Design Group, Christian Benimana shares how architecture can heal and inspire Africa.
May 19, 2016
01 1
This Italian villa is serenity incarnate.
May 19, 2016
michael cobb interior
Alternative materials help a house in California’s wine country tread lightly on the land.
May 18, 2016
13266797 1799532953608317 1984666518 n 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
May 18, 2016
Industrial kitchen built on a budget.
In Austin, Texas, architect Sean Guess forges an inventive industrial kitchen for a cost-conscious couple.
May 18, 2016
great danes dining area
In an up-and-coming area of Copenhagen, a pair of designers and their twin girls inhabit a converted loft, filling it with serious design savvy and a hefty dose of creativity.
May 18, 2016
25687 preview low 1633 2 25687 sc v2com
An 1885 house in Montreal dips a little into its backyard for spare space.
May 17, 2016
modern ecoconscious pavilion walkway roof
A couple’s retirement home on a nature preserve in Carmel, California, emerges as a series of eco-conscious pavilions that rest lightly on the land.
May 17, 2016
Formafantasma's designs for Alcantara's Touching Tales
In a 17-century palazzo, two young design studios explore a very modern material.
May 17, 2016
25104 preview low 567 9 25104 sc v2com
An extended clan, separated by business, gathers for holidays at a forested getaway near Sutton, Quebec.
May 16, 2016