In collaboration, Concrete Cat and Seth Rogan designed the ultimate 3-in-1 rolling tray for Houseplant. Our team cast each one by hand in concrete at the Concrete Cat studio in beautiful Montréal, Quebec Canada.
We reached out to Seth on June 24th, 2019 to tell him we loved the colours of his new Houseplant brand and showed him some experiments we’d made in the studio using Houseplants’ colours and Concrete Cats’ Oracle Pattern. Seth loved the use of his colours in our work and was excited about the potential to work with a Canadian art studio that made the work in-house. This started a two year design process before we jumped into production. Seth was extremely hands-on in the design process and brought insight and practical improvements to the designs. We started with 3 concepts and boiled down to one shape with five elements we both wanted to maintain in the piece. Eventually we settled on the oval shape you see today.
Each trays colouring is unique. Although the Houseplant tray has 3 distinct colourways, the Oracle pattern is based on the concept of procedural generation but using analog processes rather than digital processes. The result is a pattern that looks consistent and distinct but never repeats.
We put everything we have into collaboration projects, we don’t hold back. This Houseplant project dominated both our attention and our studio schedule. We had a nine month span where there was little room for anything in our studio other than making the ultimate rolling trays. If you wonder where the cost of these trays comes from, a big part of it is that while we worked on these trays we couldn’t take any other projects, (this kind of shows by the lack of content on Instagram while we were working on these trays.) Layering knowledge from past generations that have built with concrete, all around the world, we’ve continued building a skillset in the field of concrete design since 2007, the work is experimental. We pioneered the market sector of highly designed small concrete objects. In 2007, we were one of the only working with concrete at this level of fine detail and scale. Concrete is an incredibly accessible medium available for anyone to create with. Today, we’re proud to say we’ve inspired thousands of designers to follow in our footsteps. This deep design knowledge of coloured concrete gives us the skills and confidence to create our work, as far as we know we’re the only studio on the planet that can pull off a project like this at this scale.
There’s more to this set than just the tray! We designed a new type of grinder for this project that’s incredibly difficult to cast. We also made a modified version of Seth’s ashtray design so that we could cast it in concrete. This is the ultimate joint rolling station.
It was important to Seth and to us that the piece had a timeless element. We wanted to make something that looked like it could exist in the seventies but would still have relevance today and for years to come. The idea of detaching our designs from specific eras has always been dear to us and is the reason we work in such a timeless material.
Photographed by Trevor Pimm