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If You Can’t Get a Table at Noma, At Least Now You Can Buy a Piece of the Decor

Talk about the ultimate design karma: Two friends graduate from the design program at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, conceive two vases in pigmented concrete as Christmas presents for their mothers, and just like that are discovered on Instagram by the designers behind Noma — aka the best restaurant in the world — and commissioned to create three new styles for the restaurant's recently reopened Copenhagen location.
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This London Flat Will Make You Want to Cover Your Walls With Concrete Tile

Darkroom founder Rhonda Drakeford recently launched a studio under own name, Studio Rhonda, for which she creates objects, interiors, installations, and even something like public art. Our favorite project is an interior renovation Drakeford undertook in which the 4x4 tile — once relegated to builder-grade status — gets an upgrade by using pigmented concrete, color-blocked and coordinated with the furniture, to create an interior that might be the most fun we've seen this year.
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This Dutch Designer is Giving Concrete a Serious Makeover

At this point, we've seen pretty much every formerly humdrum thing in the universe get a design-forward makeover, from watering cans to luggage. But Dutch designer Iwan Pol wasn't happy to simply renovate a product category — he wanted to recast an entire architectural material. "Concrete can take any shape or form, so why not aim for a softer look and feel?" he says.
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Exhibit Columbus Washington Street Installations

See How 5 Design Galleries Are Transforming This Tiny Midwestern City

The seed for Exhibit Columbus began back in 2014, when designer Jonathan Nesci created an installation of reflecting tables, called 100 Variations, in the sunken courtyard of Columbus's First Christian Church, built by Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen in 1942. "It was essentially to show proof of concept that a designer could make an installation in dialogue with the city," says Nesci. Three years later, the resulting design festival, which runs through November, boasts 18 separate installations.
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Kelly Behun x Concrete Cat is a Match Made In Heaven

A few weeks ago, we conveyed our excitement over the fact that Concrete Cat was finally making furniture. But it turns out that that was just the first piece of many, and that the Canadian studio had in fact been working under wraps on a collaboration with one of our other favorite designers: Kelly Behun.
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Pettersen & Hein at Etage Projects

The Tinted, Tiled Concrete Floor We’re Coveting (And an A+ Collection of Art Objects to Boot)

“We shape our furniture, and afterwards the furniture shapes us.” This is the guiding principle behind Pettersen & Hein’s exhibition Home at Etage Projects, a reimagining of utilitarian design objects as art. Lea Hein and Magnus Pettersen (whose Flat Hat Man is one of our favorite finds from this year’s Stockholm Design Week) are the duo behind the work, which examines the hierarchy of functioning and nonfunctioning objects in the context of the home.
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tinted concrete furniture by Magnus Pettersen

Experiments in Concrete, From a Scandinavian By Way of Brazil

Magnus Pettersen's experiments in tinted concrete furniture (which is, apparently, becoming a thing) have been fascinating us ever since the Norwegian designer unveiled a pitch-perfect debut collection with his partner Lea Hein at the Stockholm Furniture Fair last year (not to mention the beautiful, blocky, sculptural seat in hues of dusky blue and yellow Pettersen recently launched with Danish design brand New Works). But to delve even deeper into the possibilities of concrete as a raw material and color as an unpredictable intervention, Pettersen recently spent 60 days at a residency in Sao Paulo, Brazil, creating 10 new works in which the brutality of concrete is tempered by the application of organic, painterly swirls of color — in much more vibrant hues than Pettersen is typically known for.
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A New Brooklyn Talent Turning Paint, Cement, and Scraps Into Of-the-Moment Objects

Cooper Union grad Nick Parker has been working steadily since 2009 to refine a materials-driven, process-based approach to making. His vases are composed of cement that he pigments, layers, and sands until it starts to resemble some hyperactive version of linoleum. His "paintings" are made from layers of paint and paint-like materials embedded with scraps. We visited his home studio in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to learn more about his craft.
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Ben Peterson’s “Nebraska”

On this site, we don't tend to feature exhibitions once they've already closed, but this one retains one of the most incredible visual archives we've seen to date, a record of objects that were as beautifully displayed as they were constructed. Ben Peterson's "Nebraska," which was on view at San Francisco's Ratio 3 gallery from January 17 to February 28, featured a series of architectural ceramic sculptures by the Oakland-based artist, painted in different, natural hues to erase traces of their clay past and to resemble something more like weathered and patinated concrete. Almost Brutalist in form, the sculptures were installed on site-specific pastel plinths, an extreme juxtaposition that somehow seemed just right.
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Esther Ruiz, Artist

Brooklyn artist Esther Ruiz refers to her sculptures as "settings," "little parties," and "miniature landscapes from a distant future," but whatever you call them, they're meant to act as colorful, abstracted symbols of imaginary places she's conjured in her mind, and the objects that reside within them. Ruiz, who was born in Houston and graduated from the art program at Rhodes College in Memphis in 2011, showed the series in her first New York solo show this past October, at the Bushwick artist's space Wayfarers. According to her artist's statement, she's inspired "mostly by space operas, pop culture, geometry and the setting sun."
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