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Stunning Surface and Materials Show Inspired 1000s

Crowd-drawing products
The exhibition halls were buzzing with excitement as companies leading the way in surfaces and materials exclusively revealed their latest products and solutions, designed to dazzle, awe and function.
ANS Group made the best use of vertical space with their living wall system, Ecodek launched their new illuminating range DekGlo, Soyang Europe demonstrated Bild Print Media a printable flooring product and William Smith showcased self-adhesive architectural finishes.

New for 2018 was the addition of the Material Expo that brought 100 international materials to the crowds under the banner ‘Materials that Matter’. Unusual, natural materials were draped into the spotlight, showcasing what’s possible when designers think differently about materials. Horse hair, seed husks, mushroom roots, hemp and banana fibre were all part of the eclectic display.

Showcasing what is already possible were several striking and inspiring constructions and sculptures. Kinetech Design’s Royal Approval merged meticulous geometric design, material technology and Japanese paper folding to produce an aluminium sculpture that was the back drop for the Surface & Materials Hub.

Carwyn Lloyd Jones showed just what’s possible with wood, as his latest tiny timber frame home, measuring just 6m by 3m with a maximum height of 2.4m, was revealed. He was also demonstrating three different finishes on the wall – straw, cobb and hemp - three natural materials suitable for building with.

Hot topics
The heated debates dominating the Surface & Materials Hub and UKCW stage, networking areas and bars were a good indication of the issues set to challenge architects and designers over the next 12 months. Colour forecasts, stopping building failures and sustainable materials featured strongly throughout the event. The most popular CPDs focused heavily on the future of fire safety.

In the Surface & Materials Hub other popular topics were:
• Future vision II: A trend and colour forecast for design in 2018/19;
• Bionics Buildings promoting the benefits of strong, lightweight shapes and new materials;
• Aceylated wood – the missing link in the transition to a circular economy; and
• The Silo, Copenhagen – from storage container to urban focal point – how a grain container has been transformed into a residential apartment building.

Celebration of diversity
Multiple awards and competition announcements for the whole sector were announced, including the Role Model of the Year. Following the shortlisting of 36 professionals, the winner was finally announced as, Arleta Andreasik-Paton, a construction project manager at Aecom, who impressed the judges with her determination to strive within the construction industry.

Arleta Andreasik-Paton, Role Model of the Year said:“When Steph started talking and I realised I had won I got quite emotional. It means so much that the students chose me and could identify with my story. I’m not from a construction background, but I moved into the industry with transferrable skills, studied while on the job and here I am now. It’s a privilege to be able to become a role model for other talented young people who can find wonderful careers in construction.”

Plans are already underway for Surface & Materials show 2019 an event that promises to be even bigger and better yet. Rebooking this year is up by 40%, those wanting to book an early exhibitor spot can do so now, by visiting
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