What Are the Surface Trends for 2024 and Beyond?
Discover the key themes that will be influencing surface materials in the year ahead
This year’s event, held 6-8 February at the Business Design Centre, Islington, showcased innovations from more than 180 exhibitors, as well as hosting a comprehensive talks programme with leading industry experts.
Read on to find out what was influencing the brands exhibiting at 2024’s show.
The theme also referred to how we can connect human intelligence with technology, ensuring we make the most of both elements when creating materials. With that in mind, the event combined designs researched and manufactured through the use of digital technology and also those that came about through traditional techniques.
Let’s take a look at some of the products and materials on display that were created within the realms of those key themes.
Many of the materials on display at the Surface Spotlight Live section of the show were a perfect example of how craftsmanship can be used to create products for a modern world.
Nowshin Prenon’s colourful woven fabrics (pictured), for example, combine a variety of traditional techniques that make them functional as well as beautiful. The material is reversible to increase its usage and there are a number of different weights of fabric that can be layered to take the user through different seasons.
Rosy Napper’s ReCinder range of clay products is another example. The clay is made from ceramic waste diverted from landfill, then beautifully crafted into tableware, furniture and lamps.
Not only are sustainable materials becoming more mainstream, they’re also becoming more accessible for those on a tighter budget.
Unilin’s Master Oak panels are made from 95% recycled wood and combine an oak veneer with strong melamine and HPL (high pressure laminate). The company says they’re a “sustainable and budget-friendly alternative to real oak or veneer”.
More alternatives to solid wood could be found at the Mundy Veneer stand, where a range of timber veneers were on display (pictured). The veneers are sourced from forests that are managed to meet social, economic and ecological standards, following guidelines laid down by the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), UKTR (UK Timber Regulations) and PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification).
A number of materials were showcased at the event that allow natural-looking textures to be applied in a faster and easier way. ClayLime’s Wonderstone (pictured), for example, is a ready-to-use plaster for floors and walls. It’s made with clay and gives surfaces the look and strength of natural stone.
Elsewhere, San Deco was exhibiting its Travertino mineral-based interior coating, which looks like travertine, while Valpaint displayed its Valrenna paint, which has a soft texture that feels like buckskin.
Have requested image of Travertino and ClayLime
One size fits all doesn’t always cut it, particularly when we all have such differing needs, and that’s why many designers at the show prefer to create surfaces that are more tailored to the end user.
Ketley Bricks, for instance, showcased its Vision Brick range of bespoke products (pictured). The company uses the latest mould and die technologies to develop solutions for each architect’s particular project.
Meanwhile, Stratum Designs exhibited its bespoke marquetry interiors and furniture (see first photo), for which it uses waste materials to produce composite surfaces with unique patterns, colours and textures designed for each client’s vision.
We’re all now aware of the multiple mental and physical health benefits of bringing natural elements into our interiors, and plenty of designers were on board with this at the show.
Walls of Eden displayed its 3D wall tiles, which incorporate moss, plants and sustainable materials, while Panespol showed off its Textures range of decorative panels, some of which were inspired by wild nature.
Woven (pictured), by Surface Design Awards 2024 finalist Giles Miller Studio, is a stunning example of a biophilic exterior surface. An intricate latticework covers the outside of a building and allows plants to climb up, around and through it.
Did you go along to this year’s Surface Design Show? Which materials grabbed your attention? Share your thoughts in the Comments.