Rise to the Surfaces

For a one-stop shop to find out the latest thinking and products in the surfaces sector, you could do a lot worse than making a trip to this year’s Surface Design Show, being held next month in London. Anna Lewis highlights what will be in store and some of the new products being shown

With the world of surfaces being such a large and varied one, it is easy to feel a bit overwhelmed at the thought of it all. But fear not, because that’s what the Surface Design Show is here for.

The annual show, held at the Business Design Centre and this year from 15-17 February, is the only UK event to focus exclusively on interior and exterior surface solutions in building design.

Whether you’re on the hunt for flooring, wallcoverings or worksurfaces, you could do worse than starting here. The Surface Design Show also offers the perfect opportunity for architects, interior designers and specifiers to network, source and sell new products and engage in seminars led by a number of influential personalities.

As you arrive at the event, you will come face to face with The Wall, designed by Nick Raw of Raw Studios and reflecting the theme of this year’s show, material thinkers.

Raw’s installation asks the question, can paint change the emotion to which we would usually attach an object – does a black rubber duck take on a more sinister side, or could we face eating our dinner off a blue fork? An innovative way to showcase the latest paint collections, The Wall features a variety of everyday objects acting as a canvas for a wide range of paints.

Kicking things off seminar-wise is the RIBA Building Futures Live Debate, on 15 February, which will address the proposition of ‘This house believes too much social responsibility inhibits joyful design’. The debate, led by a selection of leading industry figures, will examine whether we are ethically bound to move towards the aesthetic austerity associated with economic responsibility, or if we still encourage unfettered extravagance.

Another Surface Design Show must-see is the Architects and Designers in Practice installation, another in the material thinkers theme, at stand 200.

This global installation focuses on material innovation and creative ideas in development and will highlight several individual designers, architects and manufacturers and their work.

Returning for 2011, the show’s Inspiration Centre does exactly that. Especially useful for smaller, lesser-known companies who are new to the Surface Design Show, the Inspiration Centre will showcase innovative and inspiring products.

See www.surfacedesignshow.com for further details on the event. While the information given here was correct at the time of publication, please check online for any last-minute changes.

This article was first published in FX Magazine.

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