05 June 2018
Grand Designs Live, proudly sponsored by Anglian Home Improvements, closed its doors on Sunday on the 14th edition of the show. Hosted by Grand Designs guru Kevin McCloud, the show was packed with over 500 carefully curated brands, affording visitors the chance to discover current trends, and explore the latest technologies and designs across Build, Kitchens, Bathrooms, Gardens and Interiors, along with a Technology Trail.
This May’s edition was one of the most exciting, engaging and informative to date focusing on the environment and eco-living. With numerous talks offering advice surrounding the issues that those embarking on an eco-friendly project may face; visitors were able to speak to a host of exhibitors showcasing products and services for green projects as well as gain eco-advice and listen to expert panel discussions, offering guidance on how to lower the carbon footprint of your home. Following the recent publicity surrounding the impact of single use plastics, the show has aimed to turn the tide on plastic pollution, by launching a new initiative banning plastics bottles, straws and cutlery; replacing them with biodegradable alternatives.
Kevin McCloud commented; “The issues of environmental impact and sustainability are key across all areas of life at the moment, and the field of design is no different. At this May’s Grand Designs Live, we have banned all single use plastic from the show and partnered with Friends of The Earth, as our charitable partner. This alongside my new Green Heroes, the introduction of new feature area, Architectural Salvage and the amazing display of recycling by Harry Dwyer, who created ‘The Cockroach’, have really demonstrated the show’s shift in focus to the issues that affect us all.”
Daren Newton, Event Director for Grand Designs Live said of the show ‘We have had a really busy show, catering to every aspect of home design and build providing useful advice for our visitors, along with inspiring features and exciting brands. The content we have featured on The Grand Theatre this show has also reflected the change in our visitor’s priorities, not only do they want to hear about designs, but they want to know how to reduce carbon footprints, become more sustainable and reduce their negative impact on the world.’
James Campion, Head of Exhibition Sales at ExCeL, remarked ‘We were delighted to welcome Media 10 and Grand Designs Live back for the thirteenth year of running the show at ExCeL. By working in partnership with their team, we have been able to support their ambition of delivering a great experience, making Grand Designs Live one of the leading consumer shows in the UK. We look forward to the show returning next year when visitors and exhibitors will be able to access ExCeL in record time via the Elizabeth line, arriving at our onsite Elizabeth line station at Custom House.'
Alvin Adams, Technical Supervisor for ICF Supplies who distribute sustainably resourced Ndura product to the UK, commented ‘We’ve had a phenomenal show this year; generating great leads and we’ve seen a lot of visitors with the intent of finding environmentally friendly building solutions, so for us, Grand Designs Live is ideal.’
Sean Cronin, Annexe Consultant for iHUS, which also boasts green credentials remarked on the show ‘The show this year has been truly amazing for us; we’ve booked a number of strong appointments and got some fantastic leads.’ While Miguel Balagtas, Architectural Assistant at 3S Architects and Designers said ‘Once again, Grand Designs Live has provided us with great quality leads and lots of newly generated interest – we’re looking forward to the NEC show later this year now!’
The Grand Theatre offered visitors the chance to listen to informative seminars discussing the issues. On Wednesday 9th May, Kevin was joined by a host of designers and experts for a lively debate focused on ‘Plastic Surgery – Reducing Plastic Pollution’. Craig Bennet CEO of Friends of the Earth, discussed the effects plastic has on the earth. “The likes of plastic bags and cotton buds only make up a third of the plastic waste in our ocean.” Bennett commented. “A significant 18% of plastic in the sea comes from vehicle tires; 9% from the fibres of synthetic clothing when we wash our clothes and 5% from cigarettes.”
They were joined on stage by Adam Fairweather from Smile Plastics, who transforms recycled yoghurt pots into marble-like material which is used for splashbacks and table tops; Vanessa Yuan, founder of ecoBirdy, which creates beautiful colourful children’s’ furniture from broken or unwanted plastic toys; and Craftsman, James Michael Shaw, who creates handmade tables and door handles from recycled plastics.
Returning favourite feature Kevin’s Green Heroes, inspired by Kevin’s passion for pioneering, beautiful and eco-friendly product designs, offered live demonstrations of the products, giving visitors the chance to see a selection of innovations come to life. This year’s Heroes included Claire Potter Design’s unique artistic lights made from recycled plastic bottles, eco-conscious natural building material Light Earth Blocks, and GIY Mycofoam, a natural mushroom fire-resistant and effective insulation product and Coffee Logs by Bio-Bean, a sustainable eco-friendly fuel source made from used coffee grounds, among others, Lucentia Design, who sources plastics at the end of their useful lives and recycles them into fresh new sheet material, HG Matthews, a range of products including structural blocks, insulating blocks and plaster and The Bamboo Bicycle Club, a company which helps passionate cyclists build and ride their own self-build bamboo bikes.
Also displayed alongside this year’s Green Heroes was Harry Dwyer’s amazing creation, ‘The Cockroach’, a pedal-powered motorhome built entirely with recycled materials, including two salvaged bike frames which have been welded together, countless ‘For Sale’ sings and even some recycled signage from Grand Designs Live. Pieces of this critter-come-camper were assembled from across London, to produce the ‘quadrocycle’ green vehicle.
A brand-new addition to the 2018 show was Architectural Salvage, partnered with Salvo. Situated in the interiors section of the show, five carefully curated brands, LASSCO, Source Antiques, The Vintage Fridge Company, The Vintage Floor Tile Company and The Old Radiator Company, gave a rare opportunity for visitors to renovate their homes with original, quality and sustainable products.
The Grand Room Sets competition celebrated unique interiors, this year with the theme ‘Design by You’ each room was designed in a bespoke manner by the stylists, fitting to their own tastes and personality. Finch London’s natural kitchen was named as the overall winner by a panel of judges. Victoria Harrison, Editor of Houzz and one of the judges commented; ‘All the designs were very strong and completely different. The kitchen, designed by Finch London addresses all concerns for a healthy lifestyle, wellbeing and the reduction of chemicals in the home.’
Also new to London 2018 was the Lavatory Project, where we saw a series of 8 installations each imagined by a different interior designer, encompassing totally different themes, to produce a myriad of unique, individual spaces in the home. Ranging in theme from gardens to the Royal Wedding, these small lavatories each made a statement, with Lisa Roberts of The Open Plan’s striking monochrome lavatory named as the overall winner by Anna-Maria Casas, the Editor of Utopia Kitchen & Bathroom Magazine.
The show offered an array of other great attractions, including: