Surface Design Show

We preview next month’s three-day show at the Business Design Centre, London.

Words by Emily Martin

6 – 8 February, Business Design Centre, London

The next Surface Design Show (SDS) takes place next month. With the show remaining as the only event in the UK that focuses solely on interior and exterior surfaces, it returns to London’s Business Design Centre to showcase new and innovative surfaces. Everything from exquisite hand-crafted surfaces to the latest technological advances in architectural lighting will feature, alongside a packed programme of events. In the following pages we take a sneak peek at what to expect at SDS and explore some of the highlights. In the meantime, you can book your tickets at the SDS website.

Surface Design Awards

The finalists of this year’s Surface Design Awards have been announced, unveiling some of the best projects from across the globe that feature innovative and exciting materials and surfaces.

The shortlisted impressive projects range from internationally renowned museums to personal residential projects. Last year's winner Maria Ana Vasco Costa has been shortlisted three times, this time with two different projects: Vicente Borga Hostel and President Arriga Building. Last year’s double winner Giles Miller is again shortlisted this year with The Bolt, as is Kris Lin Interior Design with Twisting.

Other finalists include The Mirrored Sight Shelter in Guizhou, China by Li Hao. The tranquil and beautiful structure sits on the river in Longli and reflects the story of the Longli people, a vernacular community that has experienced isolation and tension in south-east Guizhou. And a perforated screen designed for the Science Museum in London by Coffey Architects is a finalist in the Public Building Interior Surface category.

Winners of the 11 categories will be announced at an awards ceremony at Surface Design Show on 8 February, with a supreme winner also being unveiled.

Opening Night Debate

Organised in association with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and New London Architecture (NLA), the Opening Night Debate will highlight the issues facing young Londoners as they seek to become homeowners.

RIBA president Ben Derbyshire will lead a panel of experts debating the topic ‘A crisis for the next generation – is London just for the wealthy?’ Peter Murray, chairman and co-founder of NLA will chair the event, from 6.30pm on 6 February.

Stone Gallery

Debuting in 2017, Stone Gallery is officially supported by Stone Federation GB and reflects the rapidly growing stone market in the UK and the important relationship between stone and surface design.

Returning exhibitors to this special feature of the show include Amarestone, New Image Stone and Stamford Stone (pictured). New exhibitors for this year include Ardosia Slate, Harrison Goldman and Lithos Design.

Surface Spotlight Live

Introduced in 2016, Surface Spotlight Live is an exciting opportunity for architects and designers to see the best of advanced materials in two highlighted industry sectors.This year’s feature will focus on residential and transport, with this year’s display promising to be its biggest.

Sally Angharad, a colour trend researcher, and Colour Hive, which forecasts trends and materials, will together curate the display. ‘Surface Spotlight Live will be a celebration of originality, featuring unique and unusual surfaces to inspire architects and designers,’ says Angharad.

Light school

Now in its fifth year, Light School is presented by The Light Collective and supported by the Institution of Lighting Professionals. Returning exhibitors from 2017 include Optelma, Evans Turner and Applelec while new exhibitors include F-Light. Light Talks, a key element of Light School, consists of presentations and hands-on demonstrations with top UK lighting designers taking on the role of lecturers.

Light School 2018 is set to exceed previous years with its programme of talks, providing the audience with access to many of the UK’s leading lighting designers such as Arup, Lighting Design International and Nulty+. Lighting professionals confirmed for 2018 include Rebecca Weir from Light IQ, Christopher Knowlton of 18 degrees and Theo Paradise-Hirst from ChapmanBDSP.

Trainspotting: is transport design the most challenging of all the design sectors?

Hosted by FX’s Theresa Dowling, this talk will feature a top panel of speakers – Paul Priestman, Priestman Goode; Julian Maynard (pictured), Maynard-Design; Terry McGillicuddy, Richmond International; and Mark Gutjahr, BASF Coatings. They will be discussing how product design translates in transport design. Does size matter?

How do visual aesthetics influence? Is this harder to design for transport than a conventional interior? How do budgets / profits affect decisions? And which is more commercially successful: designing for transport in the public sector or designing for other parts of the sector? All these questions will be addressed, plus more, in what will sure to be an engaging session. It takes place on 7 February on the main SDS stage.

PechaKucha evening

The ever-popular PechaKucha Evening will return, this year chaired by Phil Coffey (pictured) of Coffey Architects. Speakers, each delivering their own informal and fun presentation of inspirational slides, include Hannah Corlett from Assemblage; Patrick Michell from Platform 5 Architects; David Kohn from David Kohn Architects; Yeoryia Manolopoulou from AY Architects; Jessica Reynolds from vPPR; and Amin Taha from Amin Taha.

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