The event will once again be bringing the best in surface material innovation to London’s Business Design Centre
Words by Emily Martin
The Surface Design show will once again be bringing the best in surface material innovation to London’s Business Design Centre. Now in its 15th year, the show is a must-visit for architects, designers and specifiers looking for material inspiration from the UK and around the world. This year’s theme is ‘Close to Home’, which will look beyond aesthetics and into manufacturers’ impact on the environment, from the processes used in mining or manufacture, through to the carbon footprint sustained during sales and distribution. Designing with a conscience will also be examined, from reusing waste materials to looking at what happens at the end of a product’s life cycle.
Among the contenders for the 2020 Surface Design Awards is the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts by Steven Holl Architects
Opening Night: As well as more than 170 exhibitors, visitors can enjoy a packed programme of talks, plus the ever-popular Opening Night Debate supported this year by RIBA. The lively PechaKucha evening, which will be hosted by Chris Dyson of Chris Dyson Architects, also returns. Speakers include: Daniel Campbell, director at Stiff + Trevillion Architects; Luke Tozer, director at Pitman Tozer Architects; Joe Morris, founding director of Morris+Company; Richard Wilson RA, a renowned sculptor internationally celebrated for his interventions in architectural space; Jerry Tate, partner at Tate Harmer; Faye Davies, principal at Burrell Foley Fischer; and Stella Ioannou, director of Lacuna.
Both Innerspace Cheshire and…
Key Exhibitors: Returning exhibitors include finishes specialist Armourcoat; family-run tile firm BluePrint Ceramics; Innerspace Cheshire, which connects designers with a wide range of design-led materials; James Latham, distributor of timber and wood-based panel products to the UK; and Tile of Spain, a Spanish tile firm encompassing more than 100 manufacturers.
Among the newcomers reflecting the global appeal of the exhibition are British art studio Aster Muro, which produces stunning contemporary frescoes; German solid surface supplier Kula; and Croatian decorative glass producer Bokart
BluePrint Ceramics are exhibiting at this year’s event
Surface Spotlight Live: This section of the show is wholly focused on the ‘Close to Home’ theme. Curated by trend expert Sally Angharad and forecasters Colour Hive, the exhibit will take a look at what the future holds for materials.
Stone Gallery: Returning for 2020 is the Stone Gallery, accompanied by the Stone Knowledge Hub and supported by the leading industry body the Stone Federation GB. It will form a focal point for the event, where architects and designers can interact with, and learn more about, specifying natural stone.
Light School: In addition to materials for indoor and outdoor use, Light School is a key component of the show. Here, leading manufacturers will demonstrate the relationship between light and surfaces, as well as showcasing the latest architectural lighting products and innovations in lighting technology.
Spinn Arkitekter’s The Hammerfest Cabin is a finalist in the Sustainable Surface Exterior awards category
Light Talks: Light Talks will host some 30 presentations from 50 speakers across the purpose-built stages: Light Talks, Stone Knowledge Hub and the Main Stage. Touching on the show’s theme of ‘Close to Home’, Jo Rowan, associate strategy director at PriestmanGoode, will give a talk headed ‘Get On Board: Reduce. Reuse. Rethink’ on the Main Stage, from 1:45-2:30pm on 11 February.
New Talent: As well as established brands, the Surface Design Show will showcase up-and-coming designers in the materials sector with its New Talent section. Curated by chief creative director at Trendease International, Jennifer Castoldi, the New Talent area allows designers who have been in the industry five years or less to have a devoted exhibition area. The 45 exhibitors here include That’s Caffeine, a start-up that creates products from waste coffee grounds, and knitted textile specialist Charlotte Clayton. Appearing for the first time is New Talent Plus, a section of the show that bridges the gap between emerging material talent and existing manufacturers.
Shortlisted in both the Public Building Interior and Exterior categories, the Krushi Bhawan project by Studio Lotus is a modern government building in the Indian city of Bhubaneswar
2020 Surface Design Awards: Renowned practices including Steven Holl Architects, Mikhail Riches, AECOM, WilkinsonEyre and Chris Dyson Architects are among those shortlisted for 2020 Surface Design Awards, which exemplify creative use of surface materials and lighting.
There are 39 projects across 14 categories in total, from retail and public buildings to commercial projects and housing, and including new categories for 2020: Public Realm and Affordable Housing
Key highlights from the shortlist include The Reach at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts by Steven Holl Architects, which was shortlisted in the both the Light & Surface Exterior and Interior categories, and Kingdom Design Studio by Eric Corbett being shortlisted for best Commercial Building Interior. Giles Miller Studio’s BBC Pavilion project is shortlisted in the Temporary Structures category and consists of thousands of recyclable aluminium ‘petals’ on the front of the building, which open up as a complex mechanical concertina. It was first installed in aircraft hangars in Yorkshire before being transported to the Cannes beachfront where it was reconstructed.
Shortlisted in both the Public Building Interior and Exterior categories, the Krushi Bhawan project, a modern government building in the ancient Indian city of Bhubaneswar, was complimented for its sense of place, reflection of culture and use of local materials.
Impressing in the Sustainable Surface Exterior category with its inventive use of materials was finalist Spinn Arkitekter’s The Hammerfest Cabin in Norway, while Sustainable Surfaces Interior finalist Organic Store by Snehal Sutar in India was singled out by judge Sean Griffiths for its ‘audacious use of materials’. Also, in this category was the Muse Acoustic Panels designed by Michael Young for Australian firm Woven Image. This collaborative range of interior acoustic wall panels was praised for being a great product with true green credentials.
The winners, including the supreme winner, will be announced during the Surface Design Show at London’s Business Design Centre on Thursday 13 February 2020.