Designer    Feature 16 Feb 2017

Take a sneaky preview of what London’s 2017 Surface Design Show has in store…

The Surface Design Show returns to London’s Business Design Centre from 7-9 February 2017, showcasing the newest and best surfaces that the design industry has to offer.


Since its launch in 2005, the Surface Design Show has become something of a hotspot for industry people to immerse themselves in the latest materials for the built environment, gain new insights and network with like-minded designers, architects and suppliers.

2016 saw 5,699 visitors – largely made up of architects, specifiers and designers – attend the event, a significant increase on the previous year. The professional and trade visitors consisted of architectural, interior design, lighting design or multi design practises, with 36% choosing to attend Surface Design over any other architectural design show.

Christopher Newton, event director, said: “2016 saw the show extending to the gallery level for the first time, creating the biggest and best show to date. This year, visitors can expect even more exhibitors both from the UK and overseas. A detailed programme of events has been carefully curated ensuring that visitors will be engaged throughout the two and a half days.”

Some of the components of this year’s event will include the Preview Evening Live Debate and the popular PechaKucha Evening – an information and fun presentation of inspirational slides, which is hosted by Phil Coffey of Coffey Architects and includes speakers Chris Dyson of Chris Dyson Architects and Matthew Driscoll of Threefold Architects.

Surface Spotlight Live, which debuted in 2016 is an exciting opportunity for architects and designers to see the best of advanced materials in two highlighted fields; 2017 will focus on Hospitality and Education. Trend and colour expert Sally Angharad will curate the area presenting materials that make a significant contribution to both sectors.

Stone Gallery reflects the importance of the rapidly growing stone market in the UK. Officially supported by Stone Federation GB, Stone Gallery 2017 attracts exhibitors from Europe and beyond – all looking to link up with the international architects and designers that make London the world’s design hub.

Light School, presented by Light Collective and supported by the Institution of Lighting Professionals, has successfully educated and inspired attendees on the important relationship between light and surfaces since 2014. Light School consists of three parts: Product School, Light Talks sponsored by Luctra, and the School Newspaper sponsored by Xicato. Product School provides architects and designers with a comprehensive review of lighting innovation and the latest technology. A star-studded line up of speakers at Light Talks ensured everyone attending is sure to ‘graduate’ in the lighting world, while The Light School newspaper is sent out to 70,000 architects. designers and specifiers, plus every attendee gets a free copy to take away at the end of the ‘school day’.

Also taking place alongside the show is the Surface Design Awards which recognises and celebrates outstanding examples of progressive design and the use of innovative surfaces in projects both in the UK and internationally. Divided into interior and exterior categories there are 13 awards across seven different categories, each project judged on a range of criteria including the type of surface, the use of materials and aesthetic design. In 2016, there were 32 finalists with IPT Architects taking the honour of becoming Surface Design Awards Supreme Winner for its Howe Farm project. The awards presentation will take place on Thursday 9 February.

Surface Design Show has chosen to support Maggie’s as its adopted charity for the second year running. Maggie’s provide free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family and friends. Funds raised from the Surface Design Show and Surface Design Awards will help to raise funds which will contribute towards this extremely worthwhile cause.


Surface Design Show /