Zhi & Kou
Bentu Design Monday 01 Sep 2014

Bentu Design have brought cement to life in their latest creation, a modular furnishing system known as Zhi / Kou. While cement, a cool and rigid material, may seem like it is lacking in vibrancy, once given a pair of legs and a hint of colour it becomes animated, ‘like a little monster'. Its wild nature hides in quietness, like its Chinese name Zhi.

The system is based around simple cement cubes that can easily be combined to form multiple furniture pieces. Each cube has chamfered edges, giving an octagonal shape that accommodates hex bolts used to fix them together.

Kou is the cement cube, Zhi is Kou with its supporting legs attached. They were named due to their resemblance to their Chinese characters, which translate in the Chinese phonetic system, pinyin, as ‘zhi' and ‘kou'. The boxy Kou symbol represents the simple cubes, while the Zhi clearly shows the connecting legs.

The hollowed out cubes can carry their own weight, along with any items users may wish to store in them, such as books or ornaments. Zhi's legs provide further stability, serving well as a standalone side table or as a base for larger arrangements. The legs are smooth and lacquered, available in black, red, yellow or blue, giving a sharp contrast to the rough grey cement.

Together, Zhi and Kou are tables, chairs, bookcases, shelves - whatever the user's imagination wishes to create.