Journal: 3 May 2017

Grand Designs Live.

Today I explored the Grand Designs Live exhibition, at which point I realised it’s been five years since I last visited. I've watched the TV show since it started and I think it's fair to say I have a soft spot for Mr McCloud.

For anyone who hasn’t been before, it’s hosted at Excel in East London.

The show comprises six areas:

  • build
  • interiors & the design arcade
  • bathrooms
  • kitchen
  • garden
  • technology;

all accessed from a central plywood hub.


Research & development.

We are in the process of buying a second property to use as a holiday let, so I was interested in all areas of the show. The exhibitors covered just about every conceivable product – from the expected and anticipated interiors, to fitness equipment and even spectacle cleaning liquid!

I was particularly interested in the ‘Green Heroes’, a platform for eco-conscious designers. This was a handpicked selection of the best eco-innovations.

Pictured below is the Solidwool, a chair made from a unique composite material of bio-resins and wool. The shape of the chair, as you can probably tell, is inspired by the iconic Eames chairs.

At either end of the show there are theatres with speakers sharing advice and stories from their own self-build journeys. I listened to several, in particular the ones that had been featured on the show.

I spent some time lusting over Miele kitchens, granite and reclaimed parquet before wandering through some Danish inspired furniture.

I then stumbled across my highlight and find of the day, Lozi.

Perfect Plywood.

I was lucky enough to speak with owner / designer, Soroush Pourhashemi about Lozi, the brand. Started in 2012, they have a workshop and shop in Hackney, East London which is open to the public. They manufacture both readily available products like plywood plant pots as well as fully custom built pieces such as kitchens.

The quality and craftsmanship was superb, it was evident Soroush was passionate about his work and love of ply. He mentioned they’d be showing at Clerkenwell Design Week next month, so I look forward to seeing him again there.

I left London heading back home to Norwich, Norfolk, enthused, inspired and excited.

I’m ready to start our next design challenge!


Grand Designs is on until 7th May.

Read more about Grand Designs Live.

Read more about Lozi.

All photography by Fiona Burrage, Nor–Folk.

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