The Science of Surfaces

Experts from the fields of A&D and manufacturing delve into this simple yet incredibly ‘deep’ field, and the impact that surfaces have on our interiors, environment and self.


‘Surfaces’ are a vast and all encompassing aspect of interior design. While experimentation with surfaces grows day by day, in many interior spaces, surfaces are still treated as a functional fixture or end up falling prey to value engineering or budget cuts. With advancements in technology and science, this field has grown to add so much more to its aesthetics and holistic functionality, in that, the materials used to create surfaces, as well as the aesthetics, can actually add value to your well being. And thanks or no thanks to the global health situation at present, an undue amount of attention is being given to surfaces from an antimicrobial perspective.

We want to learn what surfaces can do to a design. The depth and diversity of usage. And our experts here will help us understand that.

Clockwise from top left: Adriana Graur, Associate Design Director, dwp; Lee Worthington, Managing Director MENA, JPA Design; Pooja Shah-Mulani, Design Director, LW Design; Eddy Abou Khalil, Regional Director Middle East, Cosentino

Clip 1: The constant budget fight between quality surface materials or FF&E

Quite often, when budgets need to be slashed, surfaces take the hit. Because no one wants the nice furniture gone. However, surfaces should not be scrimped on as they have to take the heavy wear and tear.

Clip 2: Poor contracting quality can ruin a good product

“Bad grouting!” Lee’s pet peeve is poorly constructed joints, that can ruin the most expensive surface product. And the general contracting standards in the region leave a lot to be desired

Clip 3: Natural or synthetic? Or even engineered… which is better?

Each has its place, based on the project or requirement. But we have moved past the days when, say, marble was the gold standard.

Clip 4: The shift in design to antimicrobial surfaces

The pandemic has created a seismic shift in surface requirements, where some feel antimicrobial is here to stay, while others believe just a wipe clean and basic hygiene standards should do the trick.

Clip 5: The future of the surfaces industry

Lee believes the future is modular, and this trend will spill over from the aviation interiors industry. Eddy believes that manufacturers need to listen to the designers and evolve based on that.

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