Brutal beauty: David Umemoto creates a monumental concrete vase
The Canadian architect/sculptor David Umemoto might be best known for his cubic, concrete, building-like sculptures, but until now they’ve remained simply as abstract assemblages and ornaments to behold. Umemoto has recently applied his flair for brutalist aesthetics to a functional design created in collaboration with Parisian hat brand Larose: a monumental concrete vase, decorated with a mix of architectural etchings in various levels of relief.
‘I’m trying to find the sweet spot between sculpture and architecture,’ Umemoto tells Wallpaper*. He is inspired by Le Corbusier’s Modulor system, both regimented and poetic. Made in Umemoto’s home base of Montreal, the vase is the latest iteration of his design philosophy, which is based on rigorously codified modules that are actually interconnected despite the dissonance.
‘Look close or far, you can see an order,’ he explains. Although he’s explored primitive arts with strong spiritual tones, Umemoto finds meaning solely in the practice of repeating and transforming design components. Combined with the unyielding, yet organic nature of the concrete, his vase is one centrepiece that will certainly provoke conversation with each outing.