CONCRETE CONTEMPLATIONS / by faren tami

Concrete is such a versatile material; whether it’s building up a retaining wall, a foundation for a house or used for an industrial building - this material is not usually seen as creating beautiful pieces of beauty.

I guess what I’m saying is… materials (like concrete) can be transformed depending on the value the it is given. When you have a retaining wall, which is not really seen as beautiful and therefore given the value as merely functional, there is an over-sight to its industrial beauty. However, if concrete is designed and formed into a beautiful graphic pieces of wall art (as seen below) - that gives the material a higher value of something more then just a functional use but an esthetically beautiful one. It is an easy concept but I like to apply this same principal to fashion… giving ‘old’ materials a higher-value - a new lease on its life cycle.

Most of what I work with are new high-quality fabrics, but for some pieces within my collection I like to re-purpose materials by incorporating them into a new design. This idea has been termed as up-cycling; a much more environmentally conscious way of recycling - which actually takes more energy to downgrade the material (also called down-cycling).

This concrete 'concept’ of giving the material a greater value and up-cycling materials is just the foundation of building great ideas…