The all-new Innovation Trail ay Grand Designs Live comprised of nine brands that are changing the landscape and nature of home building and renovation. The feature introduced the world’s first Milk Bottle House, by Six Miles Across London Limited (SMALL) – a construction that demonstrated eco- and design-friendly building practices. Modern Method of Construction (MMC) specialists Built & Spaces showcased a 200 square-metre interactive space that was custom created for Grand Designs Live, produced in under 8 weeks and assembled onsite over 2 days. This space aimed to demonstrate the show’s ‘innovative, adaptable and sustainable approach to construction’.
The Innovation Trail also featured so-called ‘Green Heroes’; design-conscious and eco-friendly brands hand-picked by McCloud himself. These brands included BIOFASE Avocado Seed Cutlery & Straws, by 4eco Limited, handmade, biodegradable composite interior products from That’s Caffeine, fungus and yeast-based bioplastic Korvaa headphones, and Chip[s] Board’s bio-material innovation, Parblex; made using waste from industrial Food processing and agricultural industries.
Grand Designs Live also launched the Home Renovation Clinic to coincide with National Home Renovation Week. Located within the Ask An Expert area, it gave visitors the chance to receive guidance from members of The Federation of Master Builders about their upcoming home projects.
The Under The Stairs Project also launched at this year’s show. The competition featured a series of eight installations, each created by a different interior designer, each one focusing on the use of unconventional spaces. Finalist’s designs included a storage area from Amanda Dawn Clothier, a desk space complete with bike storage by Johanna Davies, a garden area and bar by Samantha Theakstone, and a home gym by Pritpal Chana. The competition was judged during the show, and Zoe Perks of Beautiful Rooms by Zoe was named the overall winner for her under the stairs Speakeasy-style bar.
The event was hosted by Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud, and featured over 400 carefully curated brands, as well as a range of talks and demonstrations allowing visitors to discover and explore the latest trends, technologies and designs across Build, Kitchens, Bathrooms, Gardens and Interiors.
Guests could also get advice at the Design & Build Forum, which hosted multiple industry experts each day of the show, while the Grand Theatre saw talks, seminars and panel discussions from experts in renovation as well as designers and home-owners who have refurbished homes. In addition to the talks, Kevin McCloud was joined onstage by Grand Designs director Marc Beers, as they discussed unseen footage and some of the bloopers and mishaps from both in front of and behind the camera over the years.
UK Managing Director for Media 10, Richard Morey, said: “The new features and content we have produced at this show has been really exciting to create, as it is what we, at Grand Designs Live, are truly passionate about; housing and homes from self-build to renovations and everything in between, combined with innovation across the whole industry, from design and planning right up to the finishing touches that make a home. Our visitors want to see the latest technology for construction and beautiful decorative touches, but they also want to see the movement towards environmentally conscious products and methods that continue to grow as this topic becomes ever more important to us all.”
The 14th edition of Grand Designs Live took place from 7-11 October 2019 at the NEC in Birmingham.