Montreal-based architect and designer David Umemoto has been on the concrete radar for some time now, but his more recent exploration into the functional design world is what makes him a Favourites feature. Umemoto’s work (instagram) is sculptural, ornamental and is inspired by modernist era brutalism. His sculptures have cubic, building-like forms, revealing an iterative but organic design process where components belong to a modular system that can be reorganized and reconfigured into new “multiples”. This building system is based on the theory of universal order, exploring patterns and codes that govern our environment.
In collaboration with Larose Paris, he’s applied this brutalist aesthetic into a functional design to create 'Brutalist Concrete Vase no.1'. The cylindrical vase has etchings of varying levels of relief that have the same repetitive forms seen in his earlier works. Interestingly enough, he unlike other emerging "revivals of brutalism" reminds of the true "brutal" in brutalism that we seemingly want to forget. On top of that, these elements are implemented in design outside of conventional definitions of architecture. This is a super intriguing contrast to the modern resurgence of concrete as material, and moreover what Concrete Cat expresses with concrete.