This February, Portaire partnered with Surface Design Show to bring to London the interiors event of the season. The event highlighted the newest advancements in surface materials and technologies for the interior design and architecture sector. Boasting over 180 exhibitors showcasing a wide range of surface materials, such as ceramics, glass, metal, natural stone, and textiles, this show offered an unparalleled chance to witness the latest trends and engage in discussions with seasoned industry professionals.
However, if you didn’t make it this year, you don’t have to mourn anything. In this article, we’ll discuss the biggest standouts of the event, and what technologies you should consider in your next project. If you like professional interior design content, subscribe to our newsletter here.
Recycled plastic materials are getting a makeover
This year, we saw a rise in the popularity of recycled materials. Long are the days where the recycled nature of a product was visually hidden; now customers want their interiors to look and feel eco-friendly. We think this type of product will become increasingly prevalent in the next few years, and a few specific suppliers really caught our eye…
Plasticiet, a company specialising in sustainable material development, was established in 2018 by Marten van Middelkoop and Joost Dingemans, two designers based in Rotterdam. The company is driven by a mission to challenge the status quo and create high-quality, functional, and beautiful materials through continuous innovation. The visual language of Plasticiet's materials is inspired by the primal beauty of natural stone and is rooted in the idea that plastic, like stone, has remarkable longevity. By recycling plastic, Plasticiet is able to manufacture solid surface materials that not only serve functional purposes, but also reduce plastic waste. Below, you can see part of their stand at SDS 2023.
The Good Plastic Company is a global producer of surface materials that enables brands to showcase their dedication to sustainability. The Polygood line consists of 100% recycled and recyclable plastic panels that can be utilised to create stylish, environmentally-friendly furniture and design elements for both interior and exterior spaces.
As part of their exhibit, they showed their innovative material, Polygood, a surface material made entirely from 100% recycled plastic. The material boasts not only sustainable benefits, but also a distinctive and eye-catching appearance, with each pattern possessing its own distinct story. The production of Polygood panels utilises a variety of post-consumer and post-industrial plastic waste, including refrigerators, single-use cutlery, electronics, and industrial consumables (as seen in the exhibition picture below). While each piece of material is unique, it is also reliable in visual style, because they have enough recycled material to ensure consistency throughout their lines.
We also loved seeing Smile Plastics, a supplier that specialises in the design of sustainable materials made from post-consumer and post-industrial plastic waste. They believe that their innovative recycled materials are comparable to any new materials in terms of both quality and aesthetics. Each panel is carefully crafted by hand, giving it a unique character.
Natural stone – but make it locally sourced
Natural stone is one of the few things that will never go out of style. No matter the year, stone always provides a beautiful, timeless look. Many suppliers source their stone from far away locations, but with an increasing preoccupation with the trading and working conditions in quarries and the excess of CO2 production in large-distance transportation, many consumers are opting for local suppliers.
Enter the Stone Federation of Great Britain with Solid Nature.
The pair’s installation was an incredible initiative showcasing all British stones with different finishes and cuts. The installation showcased 21 stones from different suppliers, which was a masterpiece on the mezzanine level. The experience of touching each stone individually was amazing, as well as learning more about the intricacies of stone.
Porcelain technology just leaped miles ahead
Clay International is a specialist in providing high-quality large-scale slabs of stone-like porcelain made for trade professionals such as developers, architects, builders, and fabricators. The company offers innovative, customised porcelain solutions that cater to the specific design and construction needs of each client.
In this year’s exhibit, we were particularly impressed by their beige travertine replica and Calacatta Vola replica. These materials, which are yet to be featured on the website, are new additions to their range. The improvement in technology has led to significant advancements in the production of printed large-format slabs, making it difficult to distinguish the replicas from real stone. These materials are an excellent choice for high-traffic areas and public or communal spaces, as they do not require maintenance and are a better option than porous stones. We’re obsessed!
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