Your Imagination’s the Limit | 10 Creative Uses of Concrete

Michele Mathison

Michele Mathison ‘tree cutter’


The PPC Imaginarium Awards are calling for revolutionary design thinking and artistry. The annual competition is an exceptional platform for emerging talents across the fields of jewellery design, industrial design, architecture, film, sculpture and fashion design who are challenged to create works of art and design using concrete as their base material. Winners receive substantial cash prizes, mentorship from industry leaders and the opportunity to exhibit their work. Last year’s contest revealed awe-inspiring works, some of which you can view here.


As inspiration to enter this year’s competition, we’ve compiled a list of 10 beautiful examples of using concrete creatively. The unexpected possibilities of the material are as boundless as your imagination. Get inspired!



Visit to register and submit your cement-inspired innovative work of art or design, to the category of your choice, to enter.





Michele Mathison:


Living between Zimbabwe and South Africa, artist Michele Mathison draws inspiration from mundane objects like spades, picking axes or shopping trolleys found in places like hardware stores, at markets and on the side of roads. Michele made use of concrete for sculptures that featured in his solo exhibition Manual. The physical process behind creating these sculptures mirrors the nature of the materials used, which is what inspired the collection of work. He said, “I wanted to look at a very base level of earning a living in Southern Africa and the different perceptions of that kind of work.”


Michele Mathison

dagga boy

Michele Mathison

blood, sweat and tears

Michele Mathison

fuel – detail





Emerging from architectural backgrounds, the founding partners of 20Eight Design have always been interested in the materials and objects used in the construction industry. They look for ways to manipulate these material’s properties to push their application to new limits. Concrete is used as the primary material in their homeware products such as plates, bowls and lamps, giving them a raw, yet stylish look.


20Eight 20Eight 20Eight



Hans Niehaus Gallery:


Conceptualised and built by Hans Niehaus and the late architect Norbert Rozendal, the Hans Niehaus Gallery in Cape Town is built with concrete columns and facebrick walls. The beautiful building with its unexpected architectural features shows off a curvy exterior and an unusual spatial arrangement.




Gardens Skate Park:


Located under the Jutland Avenue Bridge next to the Gardens Centre in Cape Town, the Gardens Skate Park is the new playground for the skating community. Predominantly made of concrete, the park provides skaters of all ages an environment to enhance their skills and gain physical exercise. The project sets a precedent for how similar underutilised spaces can be transformed by the city.


Jean-Marc Johannes filmed by Byron Pietersen via Revolution Daily:




Ledelle Moe:


Durban born Ledelle Moe’s magnificent sculptures are made of concrete and steel. Installed across the world in Austria, U.S.A and India, the artist’s pieces create a presence of their own. “The large-scale sculptures allow for an ambiguity to be formed where the representational nature of the work becomes abstracted in favour of the surface and volume.” Often drawing from moments in history, political and personal, Ledelle creates prints, sketches and maquettes. From these maquettes, she builds larger sculptures that not only take up large amounts of space, but also take your breath away.


Ledelle Moe


Ledelle Moe


Ledelle Moe


Ledelle Moe






Douglas & Company is a local design company owned and run by husband and wife duo Jan and Liani Douglas. Initially a side project, Douglas & Company now boasts an extensive portfolio ranging from residential projects to interior projects and jewellery pieces. FORM MATTERS is a material exploration of how the same material that is used in the construction of large architectural structures can also be used to create smaller wearable pieces. Brushed brass plates act in juxtaposition against the irregular concrete surface.


Form Matters Form MattersForm Matters




Winston Luthuli ‘Angel of the North’:


Installed in 2010 near Constitution Hill in Johannesburg, stands Winston Luthuli’s 5 metre tall concrete ‘Angel of the North’. The sculpture watches over Hillbrow with outstretched arms. The creator of the exceptional statue says, “Its presence serves as a kind of sentinel, and is incongruous with what one might expect to find in this crime and grime-ridden part of Joburg. Angels are present in the folklore of many different cultures and generally represent a higher state of being.”


Winston Luthuli Winston LuthuliWinston Luthuli

Images vis Legae La Rona



Wiid Design:


Cape Town based studio Wiid Design was established by Laurie Wiid van Heerden who creates pieces that explore the notion of luxury with a focus on traditional handcrafting in combination with avant-garde techniques. His cork bar stools are manufactured from a concrete base, natural dark cork seat and powder coated mild steel. For his Soma range designed for Indigenus, Laurie juxtaposed lightweight moulded reinforced concrete with wood to create dramatic large scale planters.


Wiid Design Wiid Design Wiid Design Wiid Design



Jake Michael Singer:


Jake Michael Singer creates his works of art using predominantly construction materials which are reconfigured to reveal unexpected idiosyncrasies and contradictions. His work responds to urban landscapes and the often paradoxical experiences of living and negotiating these spaces. The artist is also a photographer of cities and urban spaces.


Jake Michael Singer Jake Michael Singer Jake Michael Singer



Suzaan Heyns:


In 2012 fashion designer Suzaan Heyns teamed up with PPC Ltd to explore the unlikely use of concrete in fashion design through her Spring/Summer collection and accompanying campaign. She took her inspiration from the different stages of cement: powder, liquid and solid.




Suzaan Heyns



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