Bentu Design is a product design and manufacturing company, located in Guangzhou. Started in 2011, the company has won many accolades in the past decade. “Bentu” means “local creating”. Which is a reflection of the ideologies of the company; using locally available raw materials, techniques and culture to design sustainable and functionally efficient products. The design philosophy undermines any unnecessary ornamentation and superfluous bits. And focuses on function and minimalism. 

The company believes in the value each material brings to the table and enhances it to make it priceless, even dirt and mud. Being inspired by Japanese architect Tadao Ando, Bentu Design found its niche in cement-based domestic products. Bentu Design has IPR and over 200 patents. Most products also have global certifications. Their product range includes lighting, indoor and outdoor furniture, wall decors and accessories. The company is especially renowned for its work in upcycling waste materials. 

Here is a list of Bentu Design’s quintessential products.

1. Heng | Electronic Weighing Scale

This electronic weighing scale by Bentu Design is a sleek, durable and eco-friendly machine. The product uses Ultra-high performance and demolition concrete. The concrete body serves as armour to the electronic parts within. The designers have retained the raw concrete finish. The weighing scale foregoes all ornamentation and achieves prime function which gives the machine a slab-like aesthetic. This 4.6 kg weighing scale received the iF Design Award 2018.

Material: Concrete, construction waste slag aggregates
Size: 300×300×37 mm
Weight: 4.6 kg
Colour: cement original colour

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Concrete slab like, minimalistic weighing scale ©bentudesign.com/355 

2. A | Barstool

The barstool from A series by Bentu design is the epitome of sophistication. The cool and hard surface of the concrete is made to seem fluid and comfortable by adding curves on the seat that fit the body. The surface voids on concrete make it seem spongy and soft. Barstool A adds a unique experience to concrete. 

The designers chose to keep the raw material finishes intact. These materials have been extracted from demolition concrete and construction waste. The barstool has been carefully crafted to ensure comfort and style.

Material: Concrete, construction waste residue, metal
Size: 465x465xh765 mm
Weight: 13.5 kg
Colour: black (accessory colour)

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Barstool and low stool ©bentudesign.com/2283

3. JING | Business Card and Pen Holder 

The Jing pen holder is a square concrete block moulded from construction waste with slits running parallel to its sides. These slits divide the block into more blocks, which designers imaging to be the building blocks rising in our cities. These subtractions in the block hold cards and papers and pens. All edges are chamfered and rounded, mellowing the effect of hard concrete. The slits in the cube add drama to the minimalistic form. The 0.85 kg block also doubles up as a paperweight. This modern, minimalistic and eco-friendly pen holder is a perfect addition to your desk. 

Material: Concrete, construction waste residue
Size: 100x100x50 mm
Weight: 0.85 kg

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Pen and business card holder ©bentudesign.com/2532

4. Storage.3 | Storage Box 

These ultra-minimalistic storage containers are sleek and stylish. The designers have employed the most stable form of a triangle and a rhombus to craft this product. The form allows for making combinations of boxes to make one storage unit or serving tray as per space requirements. The units can be placed on top of another, side by side and allow multiple iterations. The neutral grey colour of the concrete merges well into the desk furniture while making your stationery pop.

Material: Concrete, construction waste slag aggregates
Size: 145×125×h29 / 145×125×h54 mm
Weight: 0.25 / 0.4 kg
Colour: Cement original colour

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Concrete storage box ©bentudesign.com/2552

5. Dashan | Chandelier

The Dashan Chandelier breaks all stereotypes and challenges the traditional ideas of a ‘chandelier’. Moulded out of concrete, with no shiny embellishments, Bentu Design sticks to its principles of a minimalistic design approach. The band of bamboo in the lighting fixture adds a spring of colour to the grey concrete. The bamboo and concrete textures work in sync to make the Dashan Chandelier contemporary, sleek and sturdy. The yellow light filtering out of the cylindrical concrete unit adds warmth and softness to the otherwise cold concrete.

Material: Concrete, construction waste residue, bamboo
Size: Ø196×h250 mm
Weight: 3.8 kg

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Pendant Lamp or Dashan Chandelier ©bentudesign.com/335

6. Nie | Floor Lamp

This concrete floor lamp looks almost like something from the future. The tall base with sharp lines extending upwards and meeting at an imaginary point is accentuated by the globe of light that sits atop this shaft. The form and lines closely resemble tower-like structures from futuristic cities. The dimensions are carefully chosen to create a sense of balance and sturdiness. While the concrete shaft is heavy and grounded, the glass bulb is light and warm. This lamp will not only light up dark corners but do it in style.

Material: Concrete, building waste aggregates, glass
Size: 300x300xH1590 / 280x280xH945 / Ø200xH280 / Ø200 mm
Weight: 42/18/8/4 kg
Colour: Original cement colour

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Minimal and sturdy concrete floor lamp ©bentudesign.com/3413

7. Wu | City Furniture 

Bentu Design also has outdoor furniture in its product range. The firm’s material of choice – concrete, works exceptionally well outdoors as it is sturdy and durable and fairly resistant to weathering. The Wu seats are designed specially as urban furniture. Bentu has experimented with modularization and assembly to craft this seating which is easy to assemble and transport. 

The sharp angular lines lend the furniture an almost sculptural look and feel. The seat’s flexibility in assembly makes it a prime option for urban settings.

Material: Cement, construction waste residue, metal
Size: 450×450×500 mm
Weight: 84 kg

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Wu Seats for outdoors ©bentudesign.com/2639

8. Hui | Terrazzo Washbasin

The terrazzo series of Bentu design has another gem – the Terrazzo washbasin. It comes in a range of bright colours and is sure to enliven your bathroom space. Again, the firm uses recycled materials reinforcing its design ethos of sustainability. The basin is crafted from recycled stone scraps embedded in high density and high strength concrete which lowers the rate of surface absorption. The stone pieces stand out starkly in the concrete. The splash of colours adds warmth to the stone basin. 

Material: Concrete, recycled stone scraps and aggregates
Size: 408x130x112 mm
Weight: 15 kg
Colour: White terrazzo/black terrazzo/red terrazzo/blue terrazzo/green terrazzo

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Colorful Terrazzo Wash Basins ©bentudesign.com/2595

9. Shadow | Decorative Tiles 

The decorative tiles, Shadow by Bentu Designs, won the prestigious Red Dot Design Award and A’ Design Award. The different tones perceived in the tile add a movement in the pattern. These tones are achieved by the simplest solution of making grooves into the surface with varying depths. The grooves together create a star-like pattern with different tones of grey. 

The Shadow tiles come in three variants – grey, grey white and dark grey. The concrete for these tiles is also sourced from demolition sites. 

Material: Concrete, Construction Recycling Waste Slag Aggregate
Size: 298×298×H12 mm
Weight: 2.2 kg
Colour: Grey/Gray/Dark Grey

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Shadow decorative tiles ©bentudesign.com/167

10. 8 | The Terrazzo Table Lamp 

The terrazzo ‘8’ table lamp is a sophisticated design that reuses stone scraps, aggregates, concrete and glass. The table lamp weighs 4kg and comes in white, black and pink colour variants. The use of terrazzo and concrete renders the lamp sturdy, while the glass lamp on top seems like a floating ball of light on top. 

The form of 8 is used in similar products like the floor lamp and the ‘8’ shaped paperweights. The colour variants within the product range are neutral and fit well into most interior spaces. 

Material: Concrete, stone scrap, aggregate, glass
Size: Ø200xH295 mm
Weight: 4 kg
Colour: White/Black/ Pink

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Terrazzo 8 shaped table lamp ©bentudesign.com/2505

The Bentu design studio started with reusing and researching concrete-based products. Since then, it has also ventured into reusing other scrap materials like stone, plastic and ceramic to shed light on the issue of waste produced across the globe. Through their work and products, they have advocated for sustainability. 

As their tagline says, “Towards the world, keep being curious, listening and practising.” Bentu focuses on research and development, design and production. While cement concrete is the material of choice, Bentu Design continues to explore other materials to craft eco-friendly, sustainable products.

Author

Prerna is an urban design enthusiast, looking at the world with a critical eye. She often finds herself using pen and paper to untangle the wires running in her head. She believes that the urban situation in India needs more research and hopes one day to be able to contribute to it successfully. Currently yo can find her overdosed on coffee with a ook in her hand.

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