Surface Design Show 2020 to focus on sustainability and regional differences

Surface Design ShowThe Surface Design Show, which runs from 11-13 February, has announced its theme for 2020: Close to Home. Held at the Business Design Centre in Islington and celebrating its fifteenth edition, the show’s theme addresses the current climate emergency debate in the context of the surface and materials sector, for both the UK and international markets.

Close to Home will look at a wholly sustainable approach to design. Innovative and thought- provoking products will be highlighted at Surface Spotlight Live, a section of the show curated by trend expert Sally Angharad and forecasters Colour Hive. The theme will look beyond aesthetics and into manufacturers’ impact on the environment, from the processes used in mining or manufacture, through to the carbon footprint sustained during sales and distribution. Designing with a conscience will also be examined, from reusing waste materials to looking at what happens at the end of a product’s life cycle.

There will be a number of home-grown products on display including textiles from the North of England from exhibitors such as New Talent’s The Monkey Puzzle Tree and porcelain in the Midlands from H+E Smith. Several areas worldwide which are renowned for specific materials, will also be represented, from Italian marble to Spanish tiles from Tile of Spain and ceramics from Portugal’s Viúva Lamego. Other issues examined through the theme include why these areas have become market-leaders in their respective material markets, what benefits a project brings to the local area in terms of employment, preserving skills and sustaining the local community, and what challenges there are in continuing to serve the global marketplace.

Further questions to consider include can we ever return to buying locally, with particular reference to the UK post-Brexit, given the fact that we’re so used to being global consumers? Should manufacturers use local designers, as opposed to those based hundreds or even thousands of miles away?

Over the 2½ days, Surface Design Show will host approximately 30 presentations from 50 speakers, including panel discussions and talks centred around this highly topical theme, including Jo Roan, associate strategy director at PriestmanGoode talking sustainability through ‘Get Onboard: Reduce. Reuse. Rethink’ on the Main Stage on from 1:45pm – 2:30pm on Thursday 13 February. Also featured on the Main Stage on Wednesday 12 February is ‘Close to Home: Consciously Creating Spaces from Concept to Completion’ with Nicola Keenan from Boxx Creative ( 3:15pm – 3:45pm) and Hotel

Designs’ editor Hamish Kilburn who highlights the importance of close to home in his presentation entitled ‘Biophilic Materials in Surface Design’ from 12:30pm – 1:00pm on Thursday 13 February.

Tickets are free to professional and trade visitors. Register at