Far from shabby chic, Bentu Design proves that ‘recycled’ is not all about worn patinas and rough edges. These concrete lamps are beautifully clean cut and streamlined, despite being made from a mix of cement and recycled construction waste, something which accounts for 30-40% of total municipal waste worldwide.
China-based Bentu Design founded their experimental design studio in 2012. Speaking to Design Boom they say, “Excessive designs increasingly burden the earth, consuming materials as well as in the worst cases, the lives of those forced to source them. Simply put, the world does not need more objects. But, why not use what’s already here?”
Above is the Zhi side table from their project Zhi and Kou, a pair of furnishings that look like the Chinese characters from which their names derive. The furnishings can be combined in many configurations, either with or without legs, to make bookcases, storage and seating.
A beautiful pairing of cool cement with warm wood is demonstrated in the Shang recycled concrete lamps. As with all Bentu’s products, the cement is mixed with recovered industrial detritus sourced from construction sites, metal and bamboo. Also pictured on the left is the Bu stool and side table with beech legs.
Bentu aim to create aesthetically pleasing, useful objects. The elegant Tiao spotlight was one of their first designs from 2012 and is made with cement and recycled construction waste.
Far from stark and clinical, the roundedness of the Bei flowerpot and Qie chandelier adds a comforting sense of warmth to Bentu’s signature cool grey coloured material. Bei hangs on the wall with a hook behind that comes in black, or primary colours for a playful touch. The Qie chandelier can be purchased from Such & Such.