Primitive protocells at the origin of life are commonly viewed as spherical lipidic surfactant shells, freely suspended in aqueous media. This well-established model explains initial, but not subsequent events in the development process towards structured protocells, and eventually, life-enabling functional compartments. Taking into consideration the possible involvement of naturally occurring surfaces, which were abundant as minerals and rocks on the early Earth, as energy source, my research group investigates autonomous transformation processes of phospholipid agglomerates on solid interfaces. In my talk I will report on new evidence, based on a minimal set of assumptions, for the possible involvement of surfaces in protocell nucleation and early development, and show feasible, feature-rich transformation pathways to organized structures. I will highlight possible implications of the new findings for our understanding of origin of life processes, and argue that materials properties-driven autonomous processes on solid interfaces might have played a greater role in the development towards life than is currently considered.