The Surface Design Show is an annual event showcasing the latest internal and external surface materials and architectural lighting. We went along this year to see what’s new and inspiring in the world of surface materials. Here’s a roundup of what caught our eye…
Surface panels from Innerspace Cheshire.
The real faking it
There were some intriguing surface finishes using natural materials from Innerspace Cheshire, but the one that was really grabbing attention was the Moss panels (left top & bottom). Aimed as an ‘easier to maintain alternative’ to living walls, these panels are in fact made from real sustainably harvested Scandinavian moss, cleaned and preserved to retain its soft natural feel. These super-tactile panels are died in a range of colours from natural greens and browns, to saturated reds, pinks and blues for those going for a bolder look. Interesting to see a real natural material used to fake something real and natural!
Onix concreate tiles from lowinfo.
Birch plywood products from Koskisen.
Materials lay bare
It was nice to see the natural bare qualities of materials coming through, such as the Onix range of concreate tiles from lowinfo. The colour variation, air bubbles and natural imperfections of the material created a stark contrast against the pure smoothness of the tiles. With a wide range of applications, Koskisen’s birch plywood really celebrated not just the wood, but also its origin. ‘Manufactured in Finland from raw material grown in continuously regenerated Finnish forest’, even the colour applications were respectful to the materials, with bold tints allowing the natural qualities of the wood to come through.
Perla fabric beading wall panels from Pintark by LOCO Design.
Celebrating traditional techniques
In a visual contrast to the other wall panels at their stand, the Perla panels from Pintark by Loco Design ‘celebrate the beauty and diversity of traditional fabric beading’. Created in collaboration with Toucan Krafte, each bead is individually clad in fabric and hand stitched to a fabric backing; the effect created is of subtle colour bleeding. Textile work such as this is traditionally carried out by women working in their local community using recycled fabrics; aside from its intriguing visual effect, Perla is ‘a commitment to bringing socially aware and environmentally kind products to the luxury sector’.
Caroline Hough Design.
These wall panels from Caroline Hough Design are produced from resin and cement composites combined with natural timber. The effect created is of the materials bleeding into one another following the natural forms of the wood; while the transition between the materials is visually bold, the tactile quality is smooth and seamless.
This striking combination of parquet with real tarnished brass segments by Cheville Parquet creates a beautiful contrast in both texture and colour. Once again we are seeing a celebration of the natural qualities of the materials, this time through natural corrosion and oxidation of the metal creating unique textures and shading.
The mineral collection by Abigail Jennifer.
Natures tutti frutti
Ok sorry for the name here, but this was the first thing that came to mind when I spotted these! This delightful collection of minerals is by Abigail Jennifer and forms an ‘eclectic mix of mathematically finished 3D forms’. Abigail uses her fascination of nature to influence her work, focusing on ‘perfect imperfections’ and inspiration taken from horizontal lines, channels, streams & distortion of material form.
Emma Linney – University of Huddersfield surface panels (left), I-Mesh wall hangings (right top & bottom).
Surface panels from Emma Linney create a lovely play with positive and negative space through layering of textures and patterns. While these wall hangings from I-Mesh use yarn to create a range of grids and textures for indoor and outdoor use; while they create an intriguing visual affect especially when layered, they also have a functional property of noise reduction forming ‘acoustic absorbers’ for buildings.
And finally, Mundy Veneer’s extensive collection of real wood coloured veneers also featured a range of textures creating a rainbow library of just about every combination you could imagine – what more can I say!
Posted by Sarita
Senior Consultant – Design Insight
Languages spoken: English.
The last thing that inspired me: Chinese teacups from a small café in Camden Town, London - the most amazing collection of colours and textures.
My dream project: Something multi-sensorial.
My obsession: Stationery - retro inspired, Asian influenced, graphically intriguing, sensorially indulgent and the 'unique'!