What determines a product’s appeal, function and identity? Increasingly it is the finish that designers employ not only to beautify a product, but also to strengthen, preserve or disguise it. The last layer can simulate ageing, form an impenetrable shell or function as a convincing imitation of craftsmanship. Designing the Surface, an exhibition where the final topcoat targets the senses, investigates a compendium of artefacts over five sets: lustre, patina, faux, teflon and agency. Surfaces are full of contradictions; declarations of falsehood and denials. Chairs lie. Dashboards deceive. Take a look into the transformation of products – trying to survive in the design world, where nothing is what is seems.