Concrete may not be the first material that comes to mind in high design, but it’s recently gaining a new appreciation. Phaidon recently released a book all about the history and multi-functional beauty of the material. Magnus Petersen’s new concrete desk set for Areaware plays up its subtle, weighty elegance. And French designer Matali Crasset recently created a series of home objects in concrete – tables embedded with wood grain, a bookshelf, and lamps inspired by pre-radar British “listening ears,” huge concrete structures along the coast used to detect planes.