Emily Martin looks at what’s in store for the return of the Surface Design this month
Words by Emily Martin
AFTER A YEAR of virtual events, the Surface Design Show (SDS) is getting ready to host the design industry again, enabling people to meet, get updated on the latest surface materials and designs, and be enthused and educated by a range of talented speakers. It’s a date not to be missed and we checked out what’s in store for the 2022 edition.
’Nougat’ on display at Surface Matter’s sweet materials pop-up shop
With 100 exhibitors already signed up to participate, SDS is one of the UK’s leading events for architects and designers to explore the best in surface material innovation.
Chocolate bars made from compressed paper composite Richlite
Many exhibitors will bring to the show new product launches, inspired by the theme ‘Sense of Place’, with the goal of putting humanity and the planet’s wellbeing at the heart of all decision making.
Armourcoat's new naturally sustainable Clime plaster
Armourcoat will showcase its new natural clay lime plaster ‘Clime’, adding to its ever-growing sustainable product range.
Surface Matter will also be displaying its sweet materials pop-up shop stand. The stand is inspired by Surface Matter’s material studio in London Fields, which is described as a ‘sweet shop for materials’. Visitors to the stand will find anything from LED lights sprinkled like hundreds and thousands to chocolate bars made of compressed paper composite Richlite and circular Plasticiet lollipops.
After SDS was postponed in 2021, exhibitors will be looking forward to returning to the stands
There will be a comprehensive talks programme with more than 50 speakers. New for this year are the ‘Legends Live’ sessions, taking place on the Main Stage and involving industry leaders interviewing someone in or connected to the industry who is their ‘legend’.
Highlighting again at Surface Design Show will be Light School and its content partner Light Talks – together they are the home of architectural lighting. Surfaces and lighting are natural friends; to bring out the best in surfaces they need good lighting. For architectural lighting suppliers this is the opportunity to influence architects and interior designers in the role lighting can play in their future projects. This year’s Light Talks theatre will be organised in partnership with the Institution of Lighting Professionals and iGuzzini.
Visitors will also be able to enjoy the Stone Gallery, which in partnership with Stone Federation GB brings to SDS an exclusive preview of natural stone. The Stone Tapestry, curated by Squire & Partners, is a bespoke installation piece exploring innovative textures, light, colour and pattern to create a tapestry of inspiring materials from around the world.
Italy’s Confindustria Marmomacchine will, for the first time, be bringing a pavilion of ten natural stone companies to exhibit in Stone Gallery.
Surface Spotlight Live
This will be a focal point of inspiration for designers to touch and compare the very latest material prototypes. Sustainability is the key for Surface Spotlight Live as developers look to bring to market an extraordinary range of materials. It will highlight the show’s ‘Sense of Place’ theme and will be curated again by trend and colour expert Sally Angharad and held in Partnership with CD (UK).
Amy Lipscombe’s nature-inspired wallpaper, with its vibrant colours and rich details
Surface Design Awards
The show will host the prestigious Surface Design Awards, rewarding the most impressive use of materials in, and on, architectural projects worldwide. Judged by some of the leading names in the industry, the 2021 edition had 107 entries spanning 15 different countries. There are 12 awards divided into eight categories with an interior and exterior surface for the majority and each project being judged on a variety of criteria including materials used, type of surface, sustainability and aesthetic design.
New for 2022 is the Architectural Photography category, which recognises the most outstanding photography achievements in architecture and interior design.
One of the most highly anticipated and unique parts of the show is the New Talent section. This year more than 30 participants will display a range of sophisticated and innovative designs, from textile designs featuring augmented reality to 3D tiles made from eco-resin and waste materials.
Emily Hatton's three-dimensional tiles for luxury interior spaces and architecture
New Talent exhibitor Amy Lipscomb is inspired by ‘the architecture of nature’, by creating intricate surface pattern designs for interior decoration. She says, ‘The architecture of nature refers to the countless natural forms surrounding us, which differ in colour, shape and size. Using carefully selected materials, I create detailed drawings of various botanicals, plants and animals; each an individual element in the construction of my rich surface pattern design.’ Her detailed and colourful work helps people connect to the natural world with her designs printed on wallpapers, fabrics and other prints. ‘These designs bring the beauty of the natural world in,’ she adds.
Emily Hatton’s work consists of a collection of three-dimensional tiles that are made using a combination of techniques including laser cutting and hand construction, with elements of laser etch and digital print that incorporate subtle pattern into the designs. Some of the tiles have then been further developed by mould making and casting with an eco-resin (Jesmonite) and waste materials. The three-dimensional tiles can be applied to a range of applications, including luxury wall panelling, unique wall art and adornments for furniture design.