Surface Design Show 2018

At the start of February Flexiform’s interior design and marketing team, visited the Surface Design Show 2018 in London’s Business Design Centre, Architects and interior designers came out in the droves, with this year seeing the biggest turn out with over 5,000 attendees in total.

The surface design show is an opportunity for interior designers, architects and specifiers to look at what trends are set to be big in 2018 as well as allowing them to source new exciting materials and inspiring surfaces for projects they might be working on. We set about looking for inspiration for this year’s office installations.

The event took place over 3 days featuring a variety of presentations, talks, conferences ending with the surface design awards.


Pechakucha evening.

The Pechakucha evening took place on the 7th February hosted by Phil Coffey of Coffey architects the format of the evening was 20 images for 20 seconds giving each speaker a time slot of 6 minutes 40 seconds. The speakers were given the topic of Beyond Brick – Creating a new London vernacular.

10 Architects from different companies investigated differences in design, surfaces and what brick symbolises to people.

Patrick Michell from platform 5 when talking to his 5-year-old daughter about houses made of bricks and her thoughts on moving to a timber house on the Norfolk broads from a brick house in London. Was questioned with ‘will we be safe from the bears and the sharks’ confirming that brick is viewed as safe, secure and stable by all ages and isn’t just viewed as a surface or a pattern or texture.

Many of the Architects spoke about looking beyond the brick as a way of designing with the end users often been the starting point for a design concept. Designing from the inside out, thinking of the people that will be using the space in terms of health, well being, social and community aspects. Highlighting that when designing buildings, the space around the buildings are just as important, to create a living environment that helps shape the way people live.



Terrazzo was one of the big trends showcased at the show, a technique that can be applied to most surfaces and was seen done in a variety of material. Materials like glass, shell, stone wood and even coffee beans we’re used to showcase the technique.


Flexiform design team visit surface design show 2018

Beal interiors showcased Terrazzo examples with coffee beans and glass, which is then used in flooring designs.

Our personal favourite example of the Terrazzo technique was the collaboration by Solomon & Wu and Conor Taylor. A sustainable approach in which the surface is created using offcuts of wood, which would usually be wasted, the wood is cut into chips and then set. The surface is supplied in sheets which can be applied to any surface as seen in their stand where they created a room.

terrezzo stool at surface design.

errezzo room at flexiforms trip to surface design


Metallic surfaces were also popular trend seen at this year’s surface design show, with a rusted effect appearing on surfaces, in metal , plastic and marble.

Metallics from the surface design

Rusted green metallics -ssd18

Our Favourite Stand.

Finsa flooring totally blew us away with their stand this year, such a cool idea. Creating a interior installation which allowed visitors to customise every surface within the house.

Nadia flexiform's interior designer at finsa stand at ss18