The Concrete Cities is a collection that transforms the maps, urban fabrics and patterns of favorite cities into everyday design objects (coasters, wall pieces, tiles, accessories etc.) that users will hold dear, just like their memories. It was initially inspired by a challenge set by the ‘It’s all oh so souvenir to me’ exhibition organized in Athens, which called for young Greek designers to suggest new ideas for contemporary Greek souvenirs. The idea was that, as maps become objects with a sentimental value during a trip, bringing them back home in the form of a drink coaster would serve for reviving memories in everyday situations, such as e.g. while enjoying a cup of coffee.
The first set of the collection comprises a series of concrete coasters featuring Athens’ relief map on their surface. The material was chosen as a reference to its heavy presence in the city; while most people love to hate it, it challenged the designers to experiment and apply it at a small scale, using its diversity and flexibility. The Athens set was followed by Stockholm’s and Rome’s and soon the object and even the material seized to be the main point of reference.