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Surface Design Show 2020

The Surface Design Show is the leading event for designers and architects to explore the best in material innovations and this year it did not disappoint. This year the show was full of creative designs, interesting textures and inventive material exploration. On top of over 180 exhibitors there were also some very informative and thought provoking key speakers.


SDS 2020, London
Hannah Malein, Creative Director - Colour Hive, MIX Magazine presenting ‘Colour, Material and Finish Forecast : SS21’.

Hannah Malein, Creative Director of Colour Hive - Mix magazine provided us with an insight into the SS21 Colour , Material and Finish Forecast. Not surprisingly with themes of Sustainability, New Materials, Rethinking Processes and Natural Connections as some of the key drivers.

These themes were emerging throughout the show as well as the continual influences of Biophilic design incorporated into alternative materials and finishes such as lighting solutions - thinking about how to incorporate natural lighting as well as alternative lighting relating back to our circadian rhythms and reducing our exposure to blue light. It’s promising to see that Biophilic Design isn’t stopping at the amazing moss walls which were a highlight of last year.


Surface Spotlight Live is another one of the highlights at the show. Curated by trend and colour expert Sally Angharad and global colour & trend forecasters Colour Hive, SSL looks at the up and coming material innovations in a hands on and explorative display. This years selection comes under the theme of 'Close to Home' focusing on the making process to the disposal of goods. The display was a mix of natural, organic and earthy colours illustrating that need to focus on nature & grounding and becoming more sustainable and the contrasting pops of vibrant, futuristic and bold colours signifying this digital age we are seeing our selves become.

One of our favourite displays was the Beyond Plastic by Jannis Kempkens featuring materials made from natural waste such as ginger peels, used coffee grounds and the leaves to produce compostable plastic alternatives.


Contemporary Terrazzo is everywhere, being used as a solution to reusing waste products and even making its way into textile design. Terrazzo was popular at the show last year but this year it's definitely making an impact.


I especially love the terrazzo style textiles by Marina Elli Design, Print & Pattern designer whose use of colour speaks as a language focusing on how we feel when we are in contact with it. (Ditto!)

One of the most impactful displays of Terrazzo was Durat - Made in Finland this fully recyclable, colourful solid surface material is made with recycled post-industrial plastics collected from manufacturing and waste management companies. The earthy tones with shimmering flecks of natural minerals of The Palace collection really made these pieces stand out.


We got to see the materials edit by Colour Hive inspired by their SS21 design story - Factory, which features a number of one of a kind objects and materials which display beautifully alongside the colour stories palette. Again rustic and earthy tones - driven by key themes of Nostalgia, Uncertainty & Processes. Looking for that home connection, comfort and grounding.

Finally we look at the New Talent of 2020, Featuring materials that include decorative panels, bio-materials, plastic waste tiles, flexible plaster and laser cut Biophilic surfaces. Many of the new talents featured digital outcomes however the concept is very much hand crafted and organic. There's a theme of natural inspiration and sustainable values too which is encouraging to see.


Jardell Hill Design, taking inspiration from nature and pointilism she hand draws her designs before turning them into gorgeous digital wallpaper prints - her colour combinations have just the right balance of bold and sophistication.


Lauren Jay Bower creates tactile surface textures using hand coloured jesmonite inspired by the Art Deco movement. These surfaces invite the viewer to engage with the intention to allow the mind to unwind and offer a distraction from our busy digital lives. The pastels and rich tones within this display promote a contemporary and luxurious feel.


Sharon Halladay, designer & illustrator , inspired by nature and surroundings and a passion for history which she likes to incorporate into her work. Hand drawn and Lino cut the designs are hand printed to make unique wallpaper designs as well as other homeware accessories. Sharons work caught our eye due to the detailed and bold colours which on closer inspection revealed the dedicated hand crafted talent that is sometimes under appreciated.






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