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Surface Spotlight: Dynamic Offerings

27/06/2016 12:03:19

(Apparently!) summer has officially arrived and so to celebrate we have been looking at the latest vibrant and stimulating designs using a variety of surface effects. From bright colour to dynamic patterns here is a selection of the most uplifting materials to inspire and delight. Sally Angharad reports.

All Aglow: LED Lights Add New Dimensions to Hard Materials

Studio Barbara Vos

One Artisan

LED lighting offers a new way of introducing bright colour to hard materials, with the ability of being turned off and on. Studio Barbara Vos is the founder of a unique brand of tiles called tex-tiles® created by pressing fabric or textiles into porcelain. Subtle LED lighting can also be added behind the tiles to accentuate the relief textures; thinner parts show more light than the thicker areas, with a variety of colour options available. Also breaking up the density of a hard surface is One Artisan with its collection of concrete sculptural designs. Exploring ‘art with a function’ the designs include Luna LED lights that glow from within the material, highlighting the robust yet tactile qualities of the polished concrete.

It’s a Puzzle: Infinite possibilities with Barber & Osgerby’s Latest Collection for Mutina

Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby for Mutina

Colour on Colour: Layering Techniques Create Vibrant Patterns & Textures 

Nic Parnell


Raw Edges

Diverse colouring techniques are creating a range of bold materials with a greater sense of depth. Designer Nic Parnell has created surfaces inspired by the clear distinction of sedimentary layers. The Igneous design reimagines this process using multiple layering of bold acrylic resins, which are then sliced into a smooth thin section to reveal fascinating patterns. Fletco Carpets’ Space design is a flat woven carpet that plays with four basic colours in polyamide yarns. A vibrant colour effect is created as the coloured yarns merge within the woven surface. Colour mixing continues in Raw Edges’ Herringbones collection curated by Fedrica Sala; the wooden planks are dyed in layers of different pigments at a forty-five degree angle to create a colourful herringbone pattern. 

A Bit of Bling: Light Reflective Materials Enhance Rich Colour in Materials & Coatings 


BASF Coatings

Dynamic effects are created by incorporating reflective elements into colourful surfaces, from automotive coatings to architectural materials. BlingCrete is an innovative textile reinforced concrete with light reflective glass ‘microspheres’ embedded in the surface; it sends incoming rays of light back precisely in the direction of the source of light. This ‘retro-reflective’ material enhances the colour of concrete, producing a glow without the use of an integral light source, key for integrated guidance systems as well as novel surface desig. XSpark from BASF’s Coatings division is an award-winning automotive paint with a lustrous quality. It has been produced using minute glass particles to reflect light more precisely, producing a richer colour effect.

Translucent Hues: Stained Glass Windows Inspire Surfaces for Furniture Design 

Patricia Urquiola and Federico Pepe for Spazio Pontaccio 

Campana brothers for BD Barelona Design

A key surface direction this year explores translucent bright colours, especially in furniture design. Inspired by the old and new Patricia Urquiola has designed a capsule collection in collaboration with graphic designer Federico Pepe for Milan boutique Spazio Pontaccio. Inspired by traditional stained glass the light passing through the panels immerses the designs in the space, emitting a vibrant wash of colour. Also using coloured glass is the Aquário Collection by the Campana brothers for BD Barcelona Design. The dining and low table both have external panels and doors in green or blue glass, veneered in natural ash or pine stained in grey. Working with the brand’s Art Director, Ramón Úbeda, the result is a lively hybrid that uses the light aspect of coloured glass against solid wood. 


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