Last week Wild Card’s interiors team stopped by The Business Design Centre to check out the Surface Design Show 2018 – a must-visit event for those seeking innovation and inspiration for all things surface related.

With an array of experts, exhibitors, architects and designers from across the globe descending on the Islington expo, we joined the crowds to discover the materials that have the power to redefine design, and why matter matters more now, than ever before.

Here are four things that inspired us at this year’s Surface Design Show…

  1. You can have your light. And eat it.

We were extremely impressed with Danish Product designer Jonas Edvard’s Myx Lamp. A light that doubles as a nutritious source of food? Yes! The Myx is made entirely from plant fibres and mushroom mycelium. Each light is grown over a period of two weeks as fungi eat a substrate of plant fibres and produce a flexible and soft living textile. The production of each lamp generates 500-600 grams of Oyster mushrooms, and after harvesting the fungi the mycelium base serves as a dry and lightweight lampshade that is organic, compostable and sustainable.

  1. Back to black

Take the world’s leading high performance wood, scorch it, and the result is Charred Accoya – possibly one of the most exciting timber products on the market today. The blackened timber, created through Japanese finishing technique ‘Shou Sugi Ban’, offer the same superior qualities that Accoya wood is renowned for including improved stability, reliability and durability. Coming with a 50-year guarantee above ground, industry leading environmental credentials and the ability to withstand the harshest of environments, Charred Accoya is the ideal material for dramatic cladding applications. With dark exteriors a big trend for 2018, and sustainably an increasingly important consideration, Charred Accoya – which guarantees both substance and style – is certainly one to watch.

  1. A sound choice

Anne Kyyro Quinne’s felt and wool creations might look like works of art, but the bold creations hand-crafted from layers of sustainable felt and wool, are sure to please the ears, as well as the eyes. Anne’s signature three-dimensional surface technique seen on the decorative acoustic panels at this year’s expo have been intricately engineered to provide a greater surface area and flow resistance. This is critical in the absorption of sound and is what makes her acoustic panels so successful at reducing ambient noise levels and reverberation in any environment. 

  1. Wastes turned into beauty

The best stand at this year’s Surface Design Show was, without a doubt Solomon & Wu’s. Combining industrial processes with hand-crafted techniques, Solomon & Wu constantly develop new materials and techniques shaping new thinking with regards to architectural elements in commercial projects. One of the surfaces which caught our eye was the Foresso surface. Fashioned from leftover marble and waste of high quality wood, Foresso recreates the aesthetic of traditional terrazzo, showcasing a rich natural grain and high quality craftsmanship. Developed by Conor Taylor, product designer and Solomon & Wu, the material  is in growing demand in UK and UAE, especially in hospitality and commercial project. Foresso emerged from an appreciation of timber’s rich and natural grain and takes cues from recycled materials taking part in sustainable movement on trend at the moment.