Over 5,000 visitors saw some of the best and most tactile in new surfaces at Surface Design Show 2018

Over 5,000 visitors saw some of the best and most tactile in new surfaces at Surface Design Show 2018


Last week saw the return of Surface Design Show to London’s Business Design Centre, where more than 170 exhibitors from 15 countries showcased their very best in exterior and interior surface materials and treatments.

Here is a round-up of the key facts and figures from the biggest Surface Design Show to-date.

  • 5016 visitors attended Surface Design Show 2018.
  • 72% of visitors work in the architecture & design sector.
  • 69% have purchasing authority
  • 5% of visitors travelled from abroad to see the show.
  • More than 170 exhibitors showed at SDS18.
  • All 10 of the top 10 of the ‘AJ100’ architectural practices visited SDS18:
    • Foster & Partners
    • BDP
    • Zaha Hadid Architects
    • Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
    • Sheppard Robson
    • Allies and Morrison
    • Atkins
    • Purcell
    • Squire & Partners
    • TP Bennett
    • Scott Brownrigg


  • Big brands from the worlds of retail, beauty, hospitality and transport attending Surface Design Show 2018 included:
  • John Lewis
  • Debenhams
  • Next
  • Princess Yachts
  • Topps Tiles
  • Transport for London
  • Waitrose
  • Chanel
  • Soho House
  • Bentley Motors
  • Network Rail
  • Boots
  • David Linley
  • Crossrail

The plethora of exciting and innovative materials, many of which launched at the show, kept the audience engaged across all floors with the top 10 most sought after products being:

  • Flooring
  • Lighting
  • Wall coverings
  • Tiles and Tiling solutions
  • Solid Surfaces
  • Natural Stone
  • Paints & coatings
  • Glass & Glazing
  • Veneers


Highlights of the busy 2018 show events programme included:

  • Opening Night Live Debate, which tackled the hot topic of housing in London and attracted a large and varied audience. Led by Peter Murray Chairman of the NLA, the expert panel presented their views on house prices in London and discussed potential solutions.


  • The Main Stage, designed by Anne Kyyro Quinn, created a stunning platform for the exciting programme of talks which included sets from interior designer and TV presenter Naomi Cleaver, colour and trend expert Sally Angharad and Houzz.

  • The fantastic PechaKucha Evening was another highlight of the events programme, with a full house listening to an engaging set of panellists being hosted by architect Phil Coffey of Coffey Architects.


  • Light School, presented by the Light Collective and supported by the Institution of Lighting Professionals, was home to architectural lighting allowing visitors to touch, compare and learn about innovative lighting and technology products.


  • Surface Design Awards took place on the last day of the show, where we saw The Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT) in Lisbon by AL_A announced as the Supreme Winner. 11 categories saw the best in applied surface put forward by a number of brilliant architects and designers including Coffey Architects, Giles Miller Studio, Foster + Partners and Heatherwick Studio.


Surface Design Show 2019 will take place at London’s Business Design Centre from 5th – 7th February 2019.


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