Fu-Tung Cheng is founder of Cheng Design, a Berkeley, CA company that began with residential renovations and soon built a reputation for innovative kitchen and bath design. Cheng Design has since evolved into a custom-home and commercial-product design firm.
The Cheng Design team includes architects, designers, craftspeople and a fabrication crew. The firm's unique makeup and approach to the design and consultation process includes close working relationships between designers and artisans, which fosters a rare blend of creativity and craftsmanship.
Today, Fu-Tung and his team are internationally known for their innovative concrete forms produced in the Berkeley workshop. The firm has reinvented the traditional kitchen and bathroom by using concrete as a sculptural element and incorporating the aesthetics of Nature.
CHENG Family of Companies: A History of Innovation
Spurred by a growing demand from both existing clients and the design community, Fu-Tung launched CHENG Design Products, Inc. in 1998 as a way to introduce the Cheng Design aesthetic to a broader market. Under the CHENG Design Products umbrella are many of Fu-Tung’s creative product design endeavors including:
• Geocrete™ by Cheng Design: Cheng's boutique line of sculptural concrete countertops—Geocrete™—is the model for many concrete countertop fabricators across the United States. Custom-formed or available in pre-designed compositions, Geocrete™ is an unparalleled series of proprietary, lightweight concrete countertops for the home, kitchens, and baths.
• CHENG Custom Hoods: a line of custom kitchen hoods including eight distinct designs by Fu-Tung Cheng.
• Zephyr Cheng Collection by Fu-Tung Cheng: inspired series of hoods that celebrate the extraordinary beauty in everyday objects. Available in 5 models: Okeanito, Padova, Shade, Trapeze, and Cache.
• Elkay Design Inspirations, Fu-Tung Cheng Collection: elegant, stainless steel sinks that combine sleek, fluid lines with versatile function to serve as a useful, yet artistic conversation piece for any kitchen. Four available Elkay sink designs by Fu-Tung Cheng include: Ripple, Compact Ripple, Cascade, and Cascade Compact.
• Elements by Fu-Tung Cheng for Tonusa: the Elements line of finely crafted, high-quality, affordable kitchen cabinetry is considered Fu-Tung’s most innovative, sustainable design work to date.
• CHENG Concrete + CHENG Concrete Exchange: CHENG Concrete was created to provide information and design inspiration for building and making your own concrete projects. The online resource—CHENG Concrete Exchange—features detailed information, a gallery, Find a Contractor, and store offering a complete line of build-your-own concrete materials developed by Fu-Tung Cheng. CHENG Concrete Training Academy offers hands-on training at Fu-Tung’s fabrication studio in Berkeley, CA catering to both professionals and do-it-yourselfers, training over 2500 trainees to date and inspiring an industry of talented craftsmen and women.
Fu-Tung’s work has been featured in various home design, architectural and industry publications and has been honored with a list of notable awards, including induction into the National Kitchen and Bath Hall of Fame. For a complete background on Fu-Tung Cheng and his design work, please visit chengdesign.com.
Fu-Tung: Author + Speaker
Fu-Tung Cheng released his latest book, Concrete Countertops Made Simple, right at the cusp of 2008-2009, at a time when do-it-yourself projects ideas are needed more than ever; people have more time than money. Concrete Countertops Made Simple offers readers an approachable first-time project in a step-by-step book and DVD format.
In Fu-Tung’s second book, Concrete at Home (Taunton Press, 2005), the best-selling author reveals the anything-is-possible flexibility of concrete in an impressive variety of architectural examples. Part design study, part instruction manual, Concrete at Home is a vibrant exploration of the full, imaginative potential of interior concrete applications. Chapter topics include fireplaces, water features, walls as monoliths, and homes made entirely out of concrete. Concrete at Home is a top favorite in Home & Garden and Remodeling categories in major nationwide bookstores.
His first book, Concrete Countertops: Design, Forms, and Finishes for the New Kitchen and Bath (Taunton Press, 2002) is in its ninth printing and is a bestseller on remodeling lists nationwide and considered the “bible” on concrete countertops. Concrete Countertops is a major catalyst in the fast-growing market of concrete for the home.
Evolution of an Artist
Fu-Tung Cheng grew up in Van Nuys, California among a family of artists. His mother was an accomplished color artist at Walt Disney Studios. The youngest of five boys, Fu-Tung and three of his brothers all found life-long passions in the arts.
Fu-Tung attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where in 1968 he won a junior-year abroad scholarship to Japan. After a year of studying Buddhism, Japanese culture, and the martial art of Shorinji Kenpo (in which he now holds a second-degree black belt), he transferred to the University of California, Berkeley and graduated with a Bachelor in Fine Arts in 1971. Soon afterward, Fu-Tung began his lifelong practice of T'ai Chi, and currently teaches at the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery.
In 1975, Fu-Tung purchased his home in Albany, just north of Berkeley, and began his 25 year-long "experimental renovation" that continues to define and inform his hands-on timeless design. Fu-Tung's experiments included his first-ever concrete countertop (14-foot single cast piece), working with various industrial materials like stainless steel, used gymnasium flooring, and salvaged steel-frame windows. Fu-Tung's artistic background and cultural and personal experiences led him to many innovative and creative endeavors that followed.