BEHIND THE SCENES: GRAND DESIGNS LIVE

The tenth London Grand Designs Live show gets underway at the ExCel on the 3rd of the May. .

The show, which lasts for 9 days, is based on the hugely popular Channel 4 series presented by design guru Kevin McCloud. The events attracts over 550 of the best exhibitors from the Interiors, Kitchens, Bathrooms, Build, Technology and Gardens sectors and last year over 111,000 attended the event.

Ahead of this year’s event, Willie Duggan Lighting, who will feature in the Tech Box, caught up with Lyndsey Mitchell, a member of the production team for Grand Designs Live, to learn more about the event and the preparation that goes into it.

“Each show takes around 8 months to plan. Things are always changing and evolving throughout the months and a lot research goes into our decision making. This will be our tenth Grand Designs Live in London so expect an even bigger and better show than ever before. Our highlight speakers include Wayne Hemingway, George Clarke, Charlie Luxton, Jasmine and Jasmine Harman. Other features at the show include “Ask an Expert” and “Live Kitchen” sponsored by Miele.”

Given his status as host of the televised version of the show, it is no surprise to see that Kevin McCloud plays a large role in the live event but just how involved is the designer?

“Kevin plays a very important role in the running and build-up of the show. We have an editorial committee that includes Kevin, Channel 4, Boundless [Production team] and Media 10 [media and events]. The committee meet regularly to discuss ideas and developments. The top ten green products selected for Kevin’s “Green Heroes” are also chosen by Kevin himself. “

Despite being an established brand, the live show does not rest on its laurels and continues to grow and add new features, what can visitors expect at the 2014 event?

“This year we have got lots of new features at the show – the “Tech Box” being one of them. We wanted to showcase the latest home technology and never seen before concepts. We really wanted to show our visitors the advancing technology that they will soon have in their homes. “

There are some big names comprising Sony, Samsung, and Willie Duggan Lighting included in the Tech Box, but exactly how does the Grand Designs production team select who is featured?

“I source and find companies through a lot of research prior to the show. Looking for up-&-coming design and trends is very important. We are showcasing a variety of brands on the “Tech Box”. Some better known than others. I do not have a specific criteria for selection I like to look at the new trends in technology and what I feel the visitors would enjoy. “

How important is design over function?

“In terms of looking at the form and functions of Eco technology I really think both are important. There are some great products that showcase how design does not have to be jeopardized when being Eco friendly. The Willie Duggan lights for example show this is possible. The lights are of the highest designs but also Eco friendly. “

Thanks to Lyndsey Mitchell for taking time out for her busy schedule to talk to us. The Grand Designs Live will take place at the ExCel in London from May 3rd to May 11th. Tickets for the event are available here. Willie Duggan Lighting will feature eco-friendly products from LZF Lamps, Slamp, Delightfull and Arturo Alvarez in the Tech-Box.

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