Material Innovation: Unveiling Top New Talents at Surface Design Show 2024

Surface Design Show, the leading event for architects and designers to explore the best in surface material innovation will be welcoming over 180 exhibitors to its 2024 edition. Held 6-8 February at London’s Business Design Centre, amongst the established exhibitors there will be over 30 New Talents.

Curated by Chief Creative Director at Trendease International Jennifer Castoldi and sponsored by CDUK, New Talent is a key focus for Surface Design Show. Once again, the New Talent section will inspire and excite visitors whilst supporting those starting their career in the design world.

Jennifer Castoldi CEO and Chief Creative Director, Trendease International comments:

“Since 2018 Trendease International has been scouting talent from around the world for the Surface Design Show and we are excited to bring the next selection of innovative minds to showcase at the Business Design Centre in February.  We have quite the line up including: a cutting-edge translucent tile made of broken ceramics and waste ash that can be used to make furniture, lighting, and tableware, biomaterials such as one comprised of discarded ceramics and sugar beet pulp, tiles for thermal and acoustic insulation, interactive lighting design, alternative flooring, and a large collection of talented wallpaper and textile designers.”

New Talent, Nanxi Ai founder of Incro Design comments:

“Surface Design Show provides a great platform for exchanging new ideas and meeting new friends. We are curious and passionate about joining other designers and brands to work together to call for a more inclusive and sustainable material future.”

Amongst the New Talents represented are:

Rosy Napper

Rosy Napper is a ceramic material researcher interested in the intersection of science and design, specialising in the sustainable development of waste-based ceramics. 

She uses unwanted and unused resources to replace environmentally damaging ones in the hopes of one day reducing the ceramic industry’s impact on the planet. In 2022 she developed ‘ReCinder’, a 100% recycled material made from discarded ceramic and waste ash that has been diverted from landfill. The material is versatile and suitable for furniture, tiling and tableware. However most importantly it can be used for lighting due to its unique translucent quality. ReCinder is currently one of the only 100% recycled ceramic materials on the market capable of translucency.

Sauda Imam

Sauda Imam’s brand weaves a mesmerising tapestry that seamlessly connects Nigeria’s storied heritage with the contemporary world. Rooted in a passionate commitment to preserve traditional weaving techniques, her creations breathe new life into age-old artistry. With a mastery gained through academic pursuits at prestigious Central St Martins and Royal college of Art, Sauda creates designs that transcend time, with her designs already being featured in British Vogue. Imam’s brand is more than textiles; it’s a living canvas that redefines heritage for contemporary audiences. It is an invitation to experience the timeless charm of Nigerian weaving through a distinctly modern lens.

Jane Gray

Having grown-up in the Scottish countryside most of Jane Gray’s Design work is inspired by the landscapes that surround her and that of her childhood home. That could be the lighthouses that she used to visit on family day trips, the dandelions used to play “tell the time”, or the coastal shores. Recently graduated with a First-Class Hons BA in Design for Textile from Heriot-Watt University in Galashiels, specialising in printed textiles she is very excited about what her next adventure will be and how she will tell the story via her designs. Currently based in Midlothian, Scotland working predominantly in ink and in a fine line illustrative style capturing the delicate and calming elements of her studies and translating into digital prints and homeware items that include handmade lampshades, cushions and other accessories.

Incro Design

Incro Design is a London based design studio created by Nanxi Ai which was established with a bold mission: to elevate the sensory aspects of human life through innovative design. Incro’s journey is marked by an unwavering commitment to weaving inclusive design principles into the very fabric of textile design, positioning them as pioneers in this ever-evolving field. With an unrelenting passion for the humanities and a profound appreciation for neurodiversity Nanxi was inspired to envision a world where every sensory encounter is not just acknowledged but celebrated. Incro challenges the conventions within textile design, placing people and their surroundings at the core of its creative process, transcending the bounds of artistic imagination.

Design enthusiasts are invited to discover the brilliant New Talent, as well as seeing the new and innovative materials of the already established surface specialists exhibiting from 6-8 February 2024 at the Business Design Centre London.

For more information about Surface Design Show, visit


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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