Surface Design Show announces 2020 theme

The Surface Design Show has recently announced its theme for the 15thedition of the show: Close to Home.

The show’s theme aims to address 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 completely sustainable approach to design. Selected products will be highlighted at Surface Spotlight Live, a section of the show curated by forecasters Colour Hive trend expert Sally Angharad. 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 British products on display including textiles from the North of England from exhibitors such as New Talent’s The Monkey Puzzle Tree and porcelain from the Midlands from H+E Smith. Areas from all over the world that are renowned for specific materials will also be represented, from Spanish tiles from Tile of Spain to Italian marble and ceramics from Portugal’s Viúva Lamego. Other issues examined through the theme include why these areas have become known for their respective material markets, what benefits a project brings to the local area in terms of preserving skills, employment, and sustaining the local community, and what challenges there are in continuing to supply the global marketplace.

Further questions include whether consumers can ever return to buying locally, with particular reference to the UK post-Brexit, as most people are used to being global consumers, and should manufacturers use local designers, as opposed to those based hundreds or even thousands of miles away?

Over the two days, the Surface Design Show will host around 30 presentations from 50 speakers, including panel discussions and talks centred around the chosen theme, including Jo Roan, associate strategy director at PriestmanGoode talking sustainability through ‘Get Onboard: Reduce. Reuse. Rethink’. Also featured on the Main Stage is ‘Close to Home: Consciously Creating Spaces from Concept to Completion’ with Nicola Keenan from Boxx Creative and Hotel Designs’ editor Hamish Kilburn who highlights the importance of close to home in his presentation entitled ‘Biophilic Materials in Surface Design’.

The Surface Design Show 2020 will take place from 11-13 February, at the Business Design Centre London.

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