D&AD, May 2013 - Katie Treggiden Skip to content

D&AD, May 2013

This article was written 9 years ago.

Following Milan Design Week, I wrote an article for the D&AD in defence of concrete…
Beton Brut

Venerated architect Frank Lloyd Wright once wrote: “The concrete block? The cheapest (and ugliest) thing in the building world.” Concrete enthusiast and architect Leonard Koren cites people describing concrete as “hostile,” “ugly,” and even “aggressive,” and using phrases like “unrelenting stretches of coarse greyness” and “depressing soullessness.” Many people simply associate it with failed and rain-stained post-war social housing experiments.

And yet we’ve been using it for millennia – in its most basic form, it dates back to ancient Egypt. Today, concrete is the single most widely used material in the world. We produce 7.5billion m3 annually – that’s enough for a cubic metre for every person on the planet every year.

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