Aerodyne, a compact hand-made Art Deco computer

Aerodyne is Jeffrey Stephenson's latest hand-made Art Deco PC. In keeping with the (modern) times, it's a compact Mini-ITX affair in mahogany and aluminum, with an Intel i3 CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB solid state drive. Stephenson plans to make no more than a handful of them, to order.


  1. That’s beautiful. His whole gallery is.

    Those might inspire even haters of steampunk to admit that computer design doesn’t have to be inspired solely by the white gloss of a toilet tank lid.

    1. Not gonna address the Mac thing, but this isn’t steampunk at all. It’s Art Deco. There is a difference.

      1. That’s my point, that there are infinite possibilities out there but it seems like all it takes is a glimpse of woodgrain for these threads to get flooded with dismissive snark.

          1. But when I’m snotty, it’s positive and life-affirming. ;-)

            Sorry to hit a nerve.  Five years ago it would have been beige boxes to which I would compare the works of art that case mods can be.

  2. Looks from the past, hardware from the present and software from the future! This system is apparently running Windows 8!

    Jokes a typos aside. That’s one lovely looking case. The Level 11 also photographed above is lovely too!

  3. That is absolutely gorgeous.

    Never mind the Mac vs. whatever snark, the point is that something handcrafted with care — even something as faux-aerodynamic as an Art Deco piece like the example above — looks much, much better than anything plastic coming off an assembly line these days. It reminds me of a solid wood stereo cabinet my dad built from a kit in the 60s, even though the aesthetics are quite different.

  4. Computers never went through a ‘arts’ movement of handcrafting, or individual design  before they jumped straight into mass production.

    It’s nice to see  people handcrafting and filling in stylistic changes for what is ultimately a very generic form factor for ‘computer’ available at retail.

    It would be nice to see more of this in ‘mass market’ for cases to bring what’ is a appliance in the home with better cases for affordable prices. 

  5. Needs some bakelite. A pair of gutted out Zenith Radio Nurse radio transmitters would be excellent. 

    1. I’ve been thinking something similar.  It’s fairly cheap around here to get a gorgeous old radio from the turn of the century.  When not convert it into a media PC?

  6. Oh my God, I looked at its back. ;-(

    Why did I look at its back?

    (Yes, I know that that’s hard to design, but until I looked, I could at least pretend. Pretty on the front, though.)

    1. Agreed, that’s one fugly backside. At a minimum, why not paint that metal piece? It couldn’t be easier to do, the whole thing pops right out. A quick blast of spraypaint would do wonders. Or maybe just make a cover for the entire assembly.

      And I’m not even going to address the fact that the computer still has PS/2 ports and a serial port and no DVI port. And is that the power jack way up on the top left? If so, it looks like he did some custom work on it, why not do the same with some of the other jacks?

      But yes, I’m quibbling, and its a gorgeous machine.

  7. That is truly beautiful, and Art Deco isn’t even quite my cup of tea. Um… an Art Nouveau one next, please? :)

  8. Deco-schmecko, I’m holding out for a Surrealist laptop that’ll droop over my knee and exude ants out of the vents.

    Not everyone’s cup of fur, I s’pose…

  9. Nice try, but I’m gonna call Epic Fail at attention to detail.

    Fail #1: Using USB connectors with white plastic.
    Fail #2: Not taking the opportunity to hide said connectors in the silver grille.

    IMO the white bits ruin the indended effect, and the recognisability of USB jacks is something anyone seeking to craft an unusual-looking box should consider.

    As for the back panel, in my view that’s not part of the case to design. If you wanted to hide it you’d want to be using HDMI for vid, I reckon. You could put a door in front of it, or point the back panel at the floor, but you’ve still got all those wires coming out of it…

  10. Wasn’t it Pat Cadigan’s Synners that featured computers by a small group called “The Sandcasters” who, naturally, made shells of cast-aluminum (in sand)?

  11. As much as I love art deco, this is a bit of a messy attempt at it. I’d point out the metal lines coming off the circle on the front are not very true to the style — art deco was centered around geometric order. An art deco designer of the 20s would not have lines that were not equal in length. And generally you would not see lines arcing off of a circle like that…that was more of a 50s motif. What’s funny is that his Level 11 box (the one on the right) looks much more Art Deco, reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright, than the actual art deco box. Either way, I do appreciate the work he put into these things.

    I would prefer something built around the 30s-40s Art Moderne style. Get rid of those sharp edges. And a design from the 40s feels more “right” with the birth of modern computers. This radio, for instance:
    (why can’t you inline photos from the web, only uploads?)

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