Surface Design Show 2019 Talks, discussions, debates: hearing about surfaces

From 5-7 February 2019 Surface Design Show, the only event in the UK that focuses solely on interior and exterior surfaces, returns to London’s Business Design Centre to provide a platform for architects, designers and specifiers to explore the best in surface material design, development and innovation.

For more than ten years Surface Design Show has been the place where industry professionals immerse themselves in the latest materials for the built environment, gain new insights and network with likeminded designers, architects and suppliers.

Each year a full schedule of presentations, talks, open discussions, CPDs and even a live debate by experts across the industry keep visitors to the Show informed and entertained. No exception, the lineup in 2019 is set to captivate with nearly 40 talks from over 50 industry professionals.

Opening the programme of discussions, the Opening Night Debate, Tuesday 5 February 18.30-19.30, will see New London Architecture and RIBA host a panel discussion titled ‘Factory Housing: Is this the solution to building better homes long-term?’. RIBA President and Chair of HTA Design Ben Derbyshire; Chairman of NLA Peter Murray; Director at shedkm Hazel Rounding and Partner at Pollard Thomas Edwards Carl Vann will discuss the virtues and vices of factory-made housing models. Could factory housing answer the needs of Londoners long-term?

Taking place on Wednesday 6 February, 18.30-20.30, is the ever popular PechaKucha, a fast-paced style of live presentation. The PechaKucha will feature an incredible set of speakers to discuss ‘Identities and Boundaries – Site Specific Responses to Modern Architecture’. Taking part are:

  • Chair: Chris Dyson – Chris Dyson Architects
  • Lucia Berasaluce – Haptic Architects
  • Alison Brooks – Alison Brooks Architects
  • Ben Cousins – Cousins & Cousins Architects
  • Simon Fraser – Hopkins Architects
  • Soraya Khan – Theis and Khan Architects
  • Nigel Ostime – Hawkins Brown
  • Stuart Piercy – Piercy & Co
  • Alex Scott Whitby – ScottWhitby Studio

Chris Dyson will host the evening, in which speakers have 20 slides and just 20 seconds to talk about each. The name PechaKucha is derived from the Japanese term used to describe chit-chat, so setting the tone for the always packed and fun presentations.

Other highlights to the talks programme include Wednesday 6 February, 11.45-12.30, when architectural correspondent Veronica Simpson and Studio TILT co-founder Oliver Marlow discuss materials and design in ‘The Office of the Future: Virtual or Virtuous’.

At 16.45-17.30, Trendease’ Chief Creative Director Jennifer Castoldi presents ‘Rocking the Boat with Innovative Surfaces’. Jennifer will bring together some of the New Talent she is bringing to the show to discuss how new materials and processes pave the way to intriguing fresh designs which break the mould of traditional design.

On Thursday 7 February, 11.45-12.30, Oliver Heath, Director of the eponymously named Oliver Heath Design, presents ‘The Science and Style of Biophilic Design; improving the human connection with nature; improving spaces for people, productivity and the planet’. A passionate advocate for biophilic design, Oliver will discuss new research that demonstrates how strengthening the human connection with nature we can improve the many spaces we live and work in.

Immediately after, 12.45-13.30, Interior Designer and TV personality Daniel Hopwood will give a trends talk titled ‘Interior Design Trends and their relevance to the Surface Industry’.

For those looking to further their professional learning the CPD Hub is Surface Design Show’s forum for learning and professional development in which manufacturers and industry organisations present a rolling programme of talks covering all aspects of the surfaces sector. The sessions include: ‘Responsible timber procurement’ by Charlie Law, Sustainable Construction Solutions, which is hosted by PEFC; ‘An insight into the world of decorative wood veneer’ by Reliance Veneer; and ‘Exploring design opportunities by using structural LED Light Panels’ taken by Pixalux.

Surface Spotlight Live, curated in collaboration by trend expert Sally Angharad and colour forecasters Colour Hive will return to Surface Design Show 2019. One of a Kind will aim to inspire a kinder approach to design. A series of thought-provoking and innovative products will be showcased, all which go beyond aesthetics to promote meaningful experiences, with highlights for the workplace and public realm.

Stone Gallery, which is officially supported by Stone Federation GB whose Stone Knowledge Hub forms a focal point for the event, will also be returning to Surface Design Show 2019. Stone Gallery is an industry-leading event for architects and designers to meet and specify natural stone. The 2019 edition welcomes back returning exhibitors as well as new additions, such as Piedra Paloma, Airemarmores and Marmi Faedo. The Stone Hub hosts a series of presentations bringing the A&D professionals to listen and learn from the leading designers in the sector.

Now in its fifth year Light School, the home of architectural lighting, allows architects and designers to touch, compare and learn about innovative lighting and technology products. Confirmed returning exhibitors include Appelec, Optelma, and Pixalux. The Light School arena, Light Talks, will return once again supported by the Institution of Lighting Professionals. Industry experts from Hoare Lea, Nulty+, Atelier Ten and 18 Degrees have already confirmed to share their knowledge at Light Talks.

New to Surface Design Show is the New Talent area curated by internationally acclaimed speaker and forward-thinking Chief Creative Director at Trendease International, Jennifer Castoldi. Those chosen will be up and coming designers in the surface and materials sector. New Talent exhibitors can only have been in the industry for five years or less and will be hand selected by Jennifer.

Participants include experimental materials studio, MUUNA; Laura Evans Designs; Yi-Han Fu, textile designer; Orla Lawn, decorative panelling and Tomasz Maker, woodworking and metal work.