Natural materials--such as sea grass, feathers, and algae--waste product, like coffee grounds, and a race between made from nature or made by man, are just a few trends happening within the world of surface design; the buzzwords of sustainability and circular economy are also reoccurring.  Curator of the New Talent selection at the Surface Design Show, and founder / chief creative director of Trendease International, Jennifer Castoldi, shares some contemporary design directions worth following and coming to see at SDS 2020:

Birds of a feather do not always flock together. During our recent travels the Trendease Team has come across numerous artists and designers creating striking pieces with feathers. From home textiles to fashion to art, all of them are individualistic and full of inspiration.  Some may remember Muuna’s crystalized feathers from the 2019 New Talent selection.  Also producing impressive pieces are artist Marie-Ange Daudé who transforms feathers into one-of-a-kind art and Pascale Theron who looks at creating a sustainable market for high-end ostrich feather wall hangings.

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(credit: Marie-Ange Daudé)
(credit: Pascale Theron)

In Milan, at La Triennale di Milano, we came across the impressive collaborative exhibition and workspace of creatives from France, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, and Egypt that look at material innovation and a circular economy around the miraculous material we know as algae. Decorative accessories, surfaces, and textiles take on a whole new light with this research, such as this prototype designed by Esraa Fathy, during the workshop organized in Cairo (Egypt), using micro-algae based biofilament and Egyptian palm tree wood.  During SDS 2020, be sure to visit the stand of Glasgow-based Michael Anderson in the New Talent area; he will be showcasing material innovations and lighting made from of algae.

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(credit: Esraa Fathy/Atelier Luma)
(credit: Michael Anderson)

Coffee is something many people cannot live without, but what happens after you have your cup of joe? Have you ever considered how much waste is produced to provide a caffeine kick? We’ve come across some unique projects before, and now we have a couple more for you to feast your eyes upon, to satisfy your taste buds, and add to your interior/exterior, whether it be residential or commercial. Both creatives have the aim to reduce waste and believe that as designers they have the responsibility for the future, and better yet, you can find them in the New Talent area of SDS 2020.  Other uses that might perk you up are furnishings from Osisu, paper from Kairi Eguchi, and natural dyes from Thai Num Choke Textile Co. as well as Ata Felting Design. Get a boost of energy and inspiration here.

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(credit: Atticus Durnell)
(credit: Tobias Lee)

Texture is the name of the game and grasscloth is the winner in the high-end category. What exactly is grasscloth? It is a handmade, natural wallcovering, woven out of arrowroot, bamboo hemp, jute, raffia, reeds, or sea grass. It can be quite pricey. As with most natural materials there are dissimilarities in shading, coloration, slubbing, and texture with each roll, which rather than considered a defect, is actually part of the charm of this sophisticated material. Due to being straight from nature, exact seam matches are impossible, and the plain designs will create a paneled effect. Some editeurs or manufacturers might create a pattern or texture to blend this more seamlessly.

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(credit for the first two images above: Brewster Home Fashions)
(credit: Portofino Italian Wallpapers - Dynasty Textures, Antique Grass)

At the high-end of the selections for wallcoverings grasscloth, paper weaves, linen netting, silk, and woven textiles are choice options. Advances in technology mean that manmade textures can have a more natural look by using embossing techniques and vinyl. Of course, PVC is one of the most widely used plastics, but the downsides include the chemical additives evaporating into the air over time, which is not the healthiest for us or the environment. That said, it is still an affordable option and still holds a large share of the market.

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(credit: Jannelli & Volpi)
(credit: Marburg)

Jennifer will be presenting on the Main Stage at Surface Design Show:

Wed 12 Feb 2.45pm – 3.30pm Trends in Material Innovation, Sustainability, and Creative Surfaces

Thurs 13 Feb 3.45pm – 4.30pm New Talent Meets Industry – Trends in Design & Digital Print

To register for your ticket