Shanty towns inspire panelled storage cabinet by Doshi Levien

Milan 2014: a patchwork of panels on Doshi Levien's Shanty cabinet for Spanish furniture company BD Barcelona references the temporary housing found in cities across Africa, Asia and South America (+ slideshow).

Storage cabinet by Doshi Levien mimics the eclectic materials found in improvised shanty dwellings

The Shanty cabinet hides a rational storage system behind a seemingly random series of panels that is inspired by the design variation found in informal settlements, where corrugated iron is used to create unique dwellings and colour combinations that change as they fade over time.

Storage cabinet by Doshi Levien mimics the eclectic materials found in improvised shanty dwellings

"A lot of people think that these improvised structures are ugly, that they have negative connotations," Nipa Doshi told Dezeen. "We really like the beauty of the improvised."

Storage cabinet by Doshi Levien mimics the eclectic materials found in improvised shanty dwellings

Corrugated iron is often seen as a cheap material in the west, but takes on a new value to residents in these homes said the designers. "To [the people who build these homes] this is a prestigious material," explained Doshi.

Storage cabinet by Doshi Levien mimics the eclectic materials found in improvised shanty dwellings

The lacquered MDF cabinet features extruded aluminium legs and is set to be the first piece from a bigger collection that BD Barcelona will produce in the next year.

Storage cabinet by Doshi Levien mimics the eclectic materials found in improvised shanty dwellings

It is available in two different configurations – one with three shallow drawers on the right hand side which can be finished in multiple colours or shade of grey. The other has a concertina-opening cabinet.

Storage cabinet by Doshi Levien mimics the eclectic materials found in improvised shanty dwellings

The collection is a continuation of Doshi Levien's aesthetic, which seeks to combine a European approach to industrial design with a strong interest in handcraft and a "way of looking at the world that is not so pure," said Doshi.

Storage cabinet by Doshi Levien mimics the eclectic materials found in improvised shanty dwellings

"It's not a one-sided European design approach," she explained. "There's another world out there and there are many other ingredients we can use in design that are beautiful. It's finding beauty in everything."

Storage cabinet by Doshi Levien mimics the eclectic materials found in improvised shanty dwellings

The Shanty will launch at Salone Internazionale del Mobile fair in Milan next week.