The New Concrete

During the last few years, there has been a rise in the use of raw materials in hospitality interior design – exposed brickwork, stripped back wood and concrete.

But the sympathetic conversion of industrial spaces goes much deeper than a trend and illustrates an honesty to the original style and function of a building. We sat down with Ed Austin from the Dudson Design Team and asked for his take on this concept.


Where did this idea for industrial/urban interiors originate, do you think?

It has been a knock-on effect of the ‘sustainable’ influence on menus, which came to the fore five or six years ago. The provenance of local ingredients; the rise in the ‘farm-to-table’ movement; the authenticity of the setting – all these ideas are part of the same overall philosophy.

How did you come up with a tableware range to fit into this philosophy?

We have listened to our customers! Concrete is our response to their demand for a product that would fit into a more industrial style of interior design. The soft grey complements a subtle colour palette of neutral and earthy tones, and also works with metallic materials like copper and brass, which are widely used to bring warmth to a more functional style of interior. It reflects their desire for honesty. Honesty to the ingredients. Honesty to the building; and honesty to the tableware.

Is Concrete mainly suited to casual dining restaurants then?

No, not at all! Concrete can transcend its humble beginnings and also look luxurious. Reminiscent of polished marble, it looks equally at home in a high-end restaurant. Think of highly polished concrete floors in art galleries for example, an effect echoed in the décor of restaurants like Alinea, Noma and el Celler de Can Roca.


Chagall cutlery on Concrete
Ed Austin interview about Concrete

The industrial/urban trend in hospitality design shows no signs of letting up in 2017 – according to or the Morning Advertiser that predicts that this style will continue to grow into the pub sector.