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A life long passion for creating, tinkering, fixing, building and sometimes breaking things continues to motivate me. A love of experimentation has always been a dominant force in my working life as well as my free time. Always seeking to learn from creative endeavours.

I’ve always enjoyed the development process as much as the final result. Whether it was designing underwater inspection robots in my previous career or building hand wired ‘point to point’ valve amplifiers in my spare time, the quest to keep everything as simple as possible is a goal in itself.

My work incorporates a mix of salvaged, repurposed and fresh ingredients. The materials of choice being concrete and steel. My engineering background has a big influence on my work,  an emphasis on over-engineering add a hard edged, industrial feel.

A love of mid 20th century Brutalist concrete design shows in my simple forms and use of materials. The production methods I use draw on a wealth of hands-on design experience, from high precision machined components, to raw concrete cast in handmade moulds.

My passion for design and engineering coupled with a need for a more creative outlet drove me to establish Brutal Design, with a focus on the design and creation of Brutalist inspired concrete lighting, furniture, interior elements and experimental creations.  This site will be the showcase for my current concrete design projects, builds, ideas and experiments.

Tom Bonner.


At Brutal Design I measure out the ingredients to the gram when creating concrete elements.  But due to the nature of the production methods used to produce cast concrete, there will always be subtle variations in the surface finish. These random variations create uniqueness in every casting.

Many variables other than my mix recipe can effect the cured concrete colour and texture, including the absorbency of the mould material, the duration the curing concrete stays in the mould or shuttering, the level of vibration to release trapped air, to list just a few.

Blow holes, the pots and voids in the concrete surface caused by air trapped on the surface of the mould, can be seen by some as a defect.  But I love the random perforations and holes left in the surface of the cured concrete, to me they are one of the features of a cast concrete element.

I welcome the mystery and surprise when I pull a concrete piece from a mould or strike the shuttering from a cast in situ countertop. I feel the random ‘imperfections’ only add to the beauty of raw concrete and the variations in hue and texture improve the visual impact.

The pieces I produce will change randomly dependent on the components sourced and the success of the experiments, so the stock I hold is limited.  Most of the concrete objects are made in limited runs or made to order, so please bare this in mind when ordering. Concrete takes approximately 28 days to reach full cure, but if you absolutely must have it, concrete reaches about 75% cure after a week, so some pieces can be shipped early.

To discuss your requirements contact the studio on studio@brutaldesign.co.uk