Surface Design Show theme announced

February 5, 2020

(UK) – Focusing on sustainability, the chosen theme for the 2020 event is ‘Close to Home’.

The theme 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. This topic is not only highlighted throughout the extensive talks programme but is also a focus within Surface Spotlight Live.

As well as 170 exhibitors, the show features a packed programme of 30 presentations from 50 expert speakers and a number of forward-thinking exhibition areas, including New Talent and Surface Spotlight Live. Now in its fifteenth year, the show is a must-visit for architects, designers and specifiers looking for material inspiration from the UK and around the world.

Surface Spotlight Live features innovative and tactile materials for visitors to touch and feel, providing a hands on experience for architects and designers. Trend expert Sally Angharad will be showcasing a selection of innovative and exciting materials under the theme; ‘Close to Home.’ Colour Hive will return to present a dedicated materials installation, Materials Edit, featuring one of a kind objects and materials.

On the first evening of the show, the Opening Night Debate will take place, hosted by RIBA Journal’s Executive Editor Eleanor Young. Reinventing itself for the 2020 edition of the show, the panel will be interviewed by Young on the topical subject ‘Climate Emergency: Three winning ways to make a project sustainable’. The panel features the winner and two finalists from the RIBA Stirling Prize Shortlist 2019.

The lively PechaKucha evening will be hosted by Chris Dyson of Chris Dyson Architects on 12 February from 6:30 – 8pm. 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.

Stone Gallery also returns for 2020 accompanied by the Stone Knowledge Hub, supported by the leading industry body Stone Federation GB, which will form a focal point for the event where architects and designers can interact with, and learn more about, specifying natural stone.

Award-winning practice Squire and Partners has created a Stone Tapestry, a curated collection of inspiring stones from around the world exploring innovative textures, light, colour and pattern. 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.

As well as established brands, Surface Design Show is dedicated to supporting up-and-coming designers in the materials sector with its New Talent section.

This year’s shortlist for The Surface Design Awards is comprised of 39 projects across fourteen categories from retail and public buildings to commercial projects and housing, including new categories in public realm and affordable housing for 2020.

Demonstrating the truly international reach of the awards, projects on the shortlist spanned thirteen countries from 34 different organisations with emerging practices represented, as well as established firms. The Award’s will take place on 13 February during the show.