Material Monday Industry Special: Tactility Speaks at Surface Design Show 2018

Material Monday Industry Special: Tactility Speaks at Surface Design Show 2018

Posted Last Tuesday by Katie Kubrak

Last week we were dazzled by all of the hottest materials that the interior and architecture industries have to offer. It really was fascinating to immerse ourselves in the mindfulness of suppliers as well as their incredible material stories and some provocatively experimental approaches. As with every trade event, we could not help but notice surfacing trends that will definitely echo in the months to come. Please find some major highlights and trends we hunted down listed below:

Trend no. 1 – Sensual Tactility

Sensual tactility offers a textural backdrop to the spaces we inhabit making it less mono-thematic and introduces us to an engaged dialogue with the environments we occupy. Shaping attentiveness of its audience, this trend, also brings a sense of undefined familiarity. Furthermore, it stands in the opposition to the rudimental aesthetic promoted by the estate sales agents – white, flat, clean spaces with character-filled accessories. However appealing at first that interior may be, it creates an enclosed inhabitation that is undefined and, by extension, numbs our sensorial perceptions. With promotion of sensual tactility, surfaces present to us a refractive beauty and a unique interplay between form, light and shadow. Despite minimal opulence and embellishment one is able to experience a transient stream of feelings in textured lines. These find its base with the geometric repetition that results in a fluid and sensuous dynamicity of movement.

Accompanying processes: Casting, CNC machining, moulding, laser cutting,

Materials: Smooth, rough, cold, warm, combination of textures and convergence of discrepant materials into uniform surfaces, textured lamination, pleats, sheer, powdered, raised and stamped effects

Insight: Implementation of sensual tactility will add interest and drama to your walls throughout the space.


Trend no. 2 – Natural Living

Natural Living, similarly to Naturals, seeks to balance the nervousness of the fractured world of global politics and socio-economic hurdles by creating cocooned spaces with the vibes of a safe heaven. It re-explores and experiments with the natural materials that accompanied the development of our civilisation for millennia. It draws on the intimate imagery of ‘back to basics’ aesthetic where the interior is visually stripped of technology and displays only the comforting necessities. Any traces of digital equipment are hidden away and are operated through use of voice and touch. This trend further promotes craftsmanship, skill of human ingenuity and slow living. Lastly, it presents a twist of the vertical garden trend through a panel and wallpaper alternatives that besides wondrous tactility offer surprising natural aromas.

Accompanying processes: Weaving, coating, etching, macramé.

Materials: Terracotta, wood, glass, moss, flowers, ceramic, concrete, natural binders, natural dyes, mixed yarns, wools, burnt woods, recomposed glass

Insight: Find value in understanding how natural materials age and change with time. Design mindfully with consideration for the weathering, humidity, wrinkles etc. Consider how the context setting for the product will affect its colour, surface, state and aroma. Create longevity and embrace phenomenal beauty of aged aesthetic.


Trend no. 3 – Creative Recycling

Creative Recycling is on a mission to redefine what industry and consumers perceive as surfaces for luxurious opulence. It gives a narrative to materials that combine aesthetic beauty, functionality and sustainability through innovative product development and environmentally responsible manufacturing. By utilising locally sourced materials as porcelain, glass (from TV screens) and plastic (from car head lights), suppliers strive to avoid environmental impacts commonly associated with mining of the raw materials and quarrying the natural stone. This mind-set extends further to minimising energy consumption and creating as little waste as possible during production.

Accompanying Processes: Various

Materials: Recycled PC from car head lights, recycled metalised PC from car head lights, recycled PU, metal and recycled paper for flooring, composites

Insight: Adopt a concern for ethical sourcing and always question where the materials you are using come from. Consider how they could find a new useful purpose at the end of the life you have given them. Imagine how reclaimed, repurposed and closed loop materiality of your projects can add to the story of your brand, while at the same time, enhancing user experience of it.


Should you be interested to explore these surfaces in person, or many other finishes featured in our material library for design inspiration, please feel free to get in touch to arrange a workshop session! You can also request material spec and samples!