Finalists announced for Surface Design Awards 2018

From the Science Museum in London to a mirrored shelter in China: The best in surface design is celebrated as the Surface Design Awards 2018 finalists are announced

Surface Design Awards - Bund Finance, Art and Culture Centre

The finalists of this year’s Surface Design Awards have been announced, unveiling some of the best projects from across the globe which feature innovative and exciting materials and surfaces. The shortlist of impressive projects range from internationally renowned museums to personal residential projects.

The Surface Design Awards are part of Surface Design Show (6-8 February 2018), the only event in the UK focusing solely on interior and exterior surface design, facilitating thousands of innovative and thrilling materials to connect with an audience of architects and designers.

The Surface Design Awards celebrate amazing examples of progressive design and the use of innovative surfaces in projects both in the UK and internationally.

Launched in 2013, Surface Design Awards has grown exponentially in both stature and quality. International growth has been staggering this year with project entries from 16 different countries. There were 39 entries from the UK, 69% of these being from London. The most popular categories entered were Commercial Interiors and Housing Interiors.

The judging panel was co-chaired by Tina Norden, of Conran and Partners, and Ab Rogers of Ab Rogers Design. The judges included Jenny Jones of Studio Jenny Jones, Sacha Leong of Studioilse, Constantina Tsoutsikou of HBA London, Jo Littlefair of Goddard Littlefair, Howard Sullivan of Your Studio and Nir Gilad of Nous Design, all of whom are experts in their fields.

Surface Design Awards - The Bolt

30 projects have been named finalists, with awards to be given out across 11 categories. Each project was judged on a range of criteria including the type of surface, the use of materials and the aesthetic design. 13 of the shortlisted projects are from the UK, 8 of those from London. International finalists include 5 projects from China, 4 from Portugal as well as entries from India, Belgium, Lithuania, Taiwan, Hungary, Canada and Italy.

There were a number of returning entrants. 2017 winner Maria Ana Vasco Costa has been shortlisted 3 times with 2 different projects, Vicente Borga Hostel and President Arriga Building. Last year’s double winner Giles Miller is again shortlisted with The Bolt, as is Kris Lin Interior Design with Twisting.

Surface Design Show - The Mirrored Sight Shelter

Other finalists include The Mirrored Sight Shelter in Guizhou, China by Li Hao. The tranquil and beautiful structure sits proudly on the river in Longli and reflects the story of the Longli people, a vernacular community that has experienced isolation and tension in south east Guizhou. Co-chair of the judging panel Tina Norden described the project as “Tranquil yet quirky”.

A perforated screen designed for the Science Museum in London by Coffey Architects is a finalist in the Public Building Interior Surface category. The clever design of the double layered screen produces dappled light as the sun moves across the sky, engaging the visitor with the passing of time and negating library fatigue. Judge Nir Gilad commented “I looked at the picture and it made me want to visit the Science Museum”.

Surface Design Show - Science Museum

One of the four finalists from Portugal is the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT) in Lisbon by AL_A. The design builds upon Portugal’s rich tradition of craft and ceramics, almost 15,000 three-dimensional crackle glazed tiles articulate the façade and produce a complex surface that gives mutable readings of water, light and shadow. The project was described by Jo Littlefair as “poetic with beautiful curves, a building whose design and surface promotes art and architecture”.

Praised by co-chair of the judging panel Ab Rogers for having “A creative use of materials with the alignment of the walls being exquisite”, The Vanke DayPark Sales Office & Culture Exhibition Centre in Shenzhen, China by Zhao Yu is a finalist in the Commercial Interior category. The most arresting part of the design is the installation of library and floral work in the central display hall. The immense bookcase was made of overlaying paper sheets framed by steel strips.

Winners of the categories will be announced at an awards ceremony at Surface Design Show on Thursday 8 February, with a supreme winner also being unveiled. 

Sponsors for the 2018 Awards are Business Design Centre, James Latham and Eden Anglo Veneers.



About Alys Bryan

Alys is a knowledgeable design editor who is focused on instigating conversations, both online and in-person, with industry experts which challenge, educate and advance the commercial interior sector. Her training and 15 years of professional experience as a furniture designer for the commercial sector makes her uniquely placed to lead Design Insider as Editor
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