A Concrete Idea: Designer Fu-Tung Cheng brings an ancient Material into the Digital Age
by Stephen Treffinger
Fu-Tung Cheng arrived on the scene three decades ago, first garnering attention for his innovative kitchen designs, replete with organic textures and artisanal touches, and then commanding a bigger stage: entire houses making expressive use of cast concrete. Over the years, the founder of Cheng Design and Construction has conceived products for manufacturers such as Elkay and Zephyr Ventilation and launched his own specialty architectural-concrete line—including ShapeCrete, a sculptable, just-add-water mix targeted to designers and DIYers alike. The Berkeley-based California native spoke with Interior Design about his body of work and his highly experimental process.
Let’s start with concrete, a material with which you’ve had a very long and deep relationship.
Concrete has taken me on a journey. It started with a very modest form—countertops with a sculptural quality—that gradually morphed into entire houses that carry the same expression. So I’ve scaled up the work, from crafting things to crafting houses.