Five years ago, Amanda Nogier started selling handmade concrete jewellery at a student-run pop-up shop during her bachelor of design at the University of Alberta; today, the industrial designer’s customer base stretches across the world. From her Saskatoon-based studio, she ships one-of-a-kind earrings, necklaces, rings and home decor items across Canada and the United States, Australia, Japan and even Russia. Fittingly coined Béton Brut (betonbrutdesign.com), meaning “raw concrete” in French, the line is inspired by the Brutalist architectural movement, known for its use of common materials, social idealism and longevity.
Surprisingly lightweight, Nogier’s 3D-esque Lavalier earrings particularly seem to have “hit the mark,” she says, as over 10,000 people liked them on Design Milk’s Instagram feed late last year. “It’s about balance and symmetry,” she explains. “When you experience a Brutalist building in life it has a kind of rigid, organic flow to it, as you walk through. There are surprising nooks and corners and patterns that you find along the way.” In Edmonton, find Béton Brut stocked at Hideout Distro, Arturo Denim Co., Shop Chop and the Royal Alberta Museum.