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Scratching beneath creativity’s surface

Scratching beneath creativity’s surface


Neon blue coloured real moss, concrete on a roll and submersible LED light panels were just a few of the highlights of the 2017 Surface Design Show, which took place 7-9 February. We visited the show, which is well thought through and an established fixture in the UK’s interior design and architectural calendar, and were extremely impressed.

The creativity, innovation and sheer range of options available at the show demonstrated how originality can take many forms and in countless types of material. From the classic and contemporary ceramic tiles and glass on show, to new materials including Pollmeier’s BauBuche laminated veneer beech panels and Concreate’s real concrete floor panels, the choice of surface finishes exceeded all expectations.

There were so many products with the wow factor, that we don’t have space here to highlight them all. There were some stand-outs though, not least Ambience Aqua submersible lighting, which is a range of IP66 and IP68 rated LED lighting that can be used in swimming pools, hot tubs, showers and more. Adding light to such applications delivers a new dimension on creativity.

An interesting and creative solution for dealing with the issue of poor indoor acoustics came from Soundtect. Their range of wall and ceiling mounted acoustic panels shows how it’s possible to address sound reverberation in rooms – a big problem where you have large expanses of hard, flat surfaces like glass partitions – with panels that can be a design feature themselves.

Finally, a special mention for Evans James Design. This small design and manufacturing business from Pembrokeshire produces bespoke surface finishes in what it calls “interactive sensory design”. These challenge the view that a surface should be flat with a modular system accommodating inserts made using an extensive range of woods including birch, walnut and oak, with a colour matching service and a range of finishes from matt to metallic. This eye-catching solution stopped visitors in their tracks, attracted by a mirrored reflection on the display, and we very much hope to see their products adorning the walls and ceilings in our retail, hospitality and office buildings across the land.

We look forward to more of the same at Surface Design Show 2018 (6-8 February).

JUNE 2017