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

    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.

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  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

    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

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  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.

    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.

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  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.

    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.

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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.”

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