Join Surface Design Show from 11-13 February 2020 at London’s Business Design Centre to celebrate 15 years of bringing the best in innovative surface design, manufacturing and development to the UK. As well as an impressive 170 exhibitors, the show features a packed programme of 30 presentations from 50 expert speakers and a number of forward-thinking exhibition areas, including New Talent and Surface Spotlight Live.

Now in its fifteenth year, the show is a must-visit for architects, designers and specifiers looking for material inspiration from the UK and around the world. The 2019 show hosted 5,071 unique visitors, 80% of whom were from the A&D sector, who came to explore the inspiring array of surfaces on display, be entertained and learn from the presentations on offer and network with like-minded industry professionals.

With sustainability at the top of the architecture and design agenda, the chosen theme for this year’s show is ‘Close to Home’. 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. This topic is not only highlighted throughout the extensive talks programme but is also a focus within Surface Spotlight Live.

Located at the heart of the show and a recurring highlight of the exhibition, Surface Spotlight Live features innovative and tactile materials for visitors to touch and feel, providing a hands-on experience for architects and designers. This year SSL will have two themes. Trend expert Sally Angharad will be showcasing a selection of innovative and exciting materials under the theme; ‘Close to Home.’ Global colour and trend forecasters, Colour Hive will return to present a dedicated materials installation – Materials Edit – featuring one-of-a-kind inspirational objects and materials.

On the first evening of the show, the ever-popular Opening Night Debate will take place, hosted by RIBA Journal’s Executive Editor Eleanor Young. Reinventing itself for the 2020 edition of the show, the panel will be interviewed by Eleanor on the topical subject ‘Climate Emergency: Three winning ways to make a project sustainable’. The panel features the winner and two finalists from the RIBA Stirling Prize Shortlist 2019: Goldsmith Street presented by Annalie Riches, Mikhail Riches; Cork House presented by Dido Milne, CSK Architects; and Nevill Holt Opera House presented by Chris Watson, Witherford Watson Mann. The Opening Night Debate is supported by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

The lively PechaKucha evening will be hosted by Chris Dyson of Chris Dyson Architects on Wednesday 12 February from 6:30 – 8pm. Speakers include: Daniel Campbell, Director at Stiff + Trevillion Architects; Luke Tozer, Director at Pitman Tozer Architects; Joe Morris, Founding Director of Morris+Company; Richard Wilson RA, a renowned sculptor internationally celebrated for his interventions in architectural space; Jerry Tate, Partner at Tate Harmer; Faye Davies, Principal at Burrell Foley Fischer; and Stella Ioannou, Director of Lacuna.

Stone Gallery also returns for 2020 accompanied by the Stone Knowledge Hub, supported by the leading industry body Stone Federation GB, which will form a focal point for the event where architects and designers can interact with, and learn more about, specifying natural stone. New for 2020, award-winning practice Squire and Partners has created a Stone Tapestry, a curated collection of inspiring stones from around the world exploring innovative textures, light, colour and pattern.

Light School is a key component of the show, reflecting the fact that London is the world’s capital for lighting design specification. Here, leading manufacturers will demonstrate the relationship between light and surfaces, as well as showcasing the latest architectural lighting products and innovations in lighting technology. Light Talks, a series of sessions supported by the Institution of Lighting Professionals will underpin this knowledge sharing. The new Light Talks theatre is designed by Rebecca Weir’s Lightbout.iQ. The design will feature a range of surface materials creatively lit to emphasise the essential link between light and materials.

As well as established brands, Surface Design Show is dedicated to supporting up-and-coming designers in the materials sector with its New Talent section appearing once again, curated by Chief Creative Director at Trendease International, Jennifer Castoldi. The New Talent area allows designers, who have been in the industry five years or less, to have a devoted exhibition area, giving them the opportunity to showcase and engage face-to-face with a hard-to-reach and targeted audience.

The Surface Design Awards, now in their sixth year, are an intrinsic part of the show. This year’s shortlist comprising an impressive 39 projects across 14 categories in total, from retail and public buildings to commercial projects and housing, including new categories in public realm and affordable housing for 2020. Demonstrating the truly international reach of the awards, projects on the shortlist spanned 13 countries from 34 different organisations with emerging practices represented, as well as established firms. The Award’s will take place on Thursday 13 February during the Show.

For all things innovative in surfaces and materials, Surface Design Show provides the perfect platform for architects, designers and specifiers to explore.

Tickets are free to professional and trade visitors. Register at