Back to the surface in 2022!


Following the cancellation of 2021’s entry, the Surface Design Show returns to the Business Design Centre in London from 8-10 February, exploring innovation

The design industry will once again be able to meet in person and get updated on the latest surface materials and designs. Attendees will be “enthused by the show’s unique content as well as being educated by the wealth of talented speakers who will be telling their inspiring design stories,” said the organisers.

The event will “make up for lost time,” they added; with some “much-loved areas” as well as new zones for visitors. Included among over 120 exhibitors are 35 new faces.

A sense of place
Many exhibitors will show new product launches, inspired by the show’s theme; ‘Sense of Place,’ promoting “humanity and the planet’s wellbeing.” Smile Plastics for example are introducing a 100% recycled and recyclable material made from household waste; giving a hint of marble with an attractive mottled ‘coral’ effect. Armourcoat is launching a new clay lime plaster, developed to achieve beautiful matte stone surfaces while minimising environmental impact. The products have low embodied carbon, contain no cement or volatile organic compounds and are available in a wide range of natural colours.

Surface Matter will be displaying a ‘pop up sweet shop,’ inspired by the company’s ‘material studio’ in London Fields, east London. Visitors will find anything from LED lights resembling ‘hundreds and thousands’ to ‘chocolate bars’ made of a compressed paper composite.

Seminars, debates & features
Hosting debates, panels, trend forecasts and insights into the latest surface design innovations, the Main Stage is the heart of the show, featuring 16 presentations across the three days. The opening night debate highlights a younger generation of architects and designers, and is entitled ‘Climate Change and Future Proofing.’ New to the show is a series of ‘Legends Live’ interviews where an industry personality meets and chats with their ‘legend’. Architect Phil Coffey will interview Paul Monaghan of AHMM, and Hamish Kilburn, editor of Hotel Designs, talks to Conran’s Tina Norden. Colour and material forecasts are always popular at the show, and Hannah Malein Creative Director at Colour Hive will be sharing her forecasts for spring/summer 2023.

Light School (and its content partner, Light Talks), will again be a highlight, showcasing architectural lighting. “Surfaces and lighting are natural partners – good lighting is needed to bring out the best in surfaces,” say the organisers. Suppliers have 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 an “exclusive preview of natural stone.” The Stone Tapestry, curated by Squire and Partners, is a bespoke installation piece exploring innovative textures, light, colour and pattern in the creation of a “tapestry of inspiring materials from around the world.” Italy’s Confindustria Marmomacchine will make its debut, bringing a pavilion of 10 natural stone companies to exhibit in the Stone Gallery.

One of the highly anticipated and unique parts of the show is the New Talent section, with supporting new talent one of the show’s key focuses. This year over 30 participants will display a range of sophisticated and innovative designs, from textile designs featuring augmented reality to 3D tiles of eco resin and waste materials. Many of the participants this year also display a focus on using natural materials and dyes. New Talent is curated by Trendease International and held in Partnership with Canon UK.

Surface Spotlight Live is a “focal point of inspiration for designers to touch and compare the very latest material prototypes,” say the organisers. Sustainability is key to this feature too, with developers displaying an “extraordinary range of materials.” Surface Spotlight Live will highlight the ‘Sense of Place’ theme, and will be curated again by trend and colour expert Sally Angharad and held in Partnership with CD (UK).

Registration to attend the show is now open: