Surface Spotlight Live 2021: Close to Home (part 2)

As we look ahead, now more than ever we are in need of positive and genuine experiences. In 2021 designing and specifying with a conscience will not only drive more sustainable choices it will remind us that global challenges are in fact on our doorstep. Our vision for Surface Spotlight Live 2021 will continue to explore ideas that are Close to Home.

Beyond offering something unique and innovative the role materials play in our lives is far more than skin-deep. The 2021 display will look at how materials can engage with us on an emotional level and so even in a time where physical touch might not always be possible we see how surfaces can provide comfort, joy and reassurance through their multi-sensory features.


We want to celebrate the wonderful characteristics of materials on offer from near and far because after all we’re united when it comes to searching for inspiring designs and products. The selection will once again shine a light on the wealth of creative thinkers locally and globally, with this year’s selection featuring those who are committed to developing materials and finishes that answer a need as well as sparking joy, such as Smile Plastics:

For Smile Plastics sustainability and recycling are at the heart of the business. Transforming waste materials into unique decorative panels for the architecture and design industry the “mission is to change people’s perceptions around waste via innovation,” using art and technology to unlock the hidden potential in recycling and highlight the unexpected beauty of scrap.

As well addressing issues of waste and consumption repurposed materials also provide individuality between products, offering something one-off each time. Using low impact and sustainable processes is Hand and Eye studio who “produce lighting by recycling waste ceramic and glass and adding a little pigment for colour.” This process means that each disc has a different make-up of ceramic content, resulting in a unique speckle effect.

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Whether recycling existing materials into something new, looking into our archive to rediscover the ‘old’ or exploring innovative ideas in more ethical ways, the common thread joining the surfaces for our 2021 vision is their desire to do good and write a better narrative for the future.

Surface Spotlight Live 2021 will showcase exciting and meaningful materials that aim to help us feel a sense of belonging and unity through our shared love of colour, craft and innovation.