BLOG: Grand Designs Live

BLOG: Grand Designs Live

Adam and I (Tom) were kindly invited along to Grand Designs Live for a talk on Kevin McCloud’s ‘Green Heroes’ and to witness a live self-build from the team at Studio Bark.

Listen to our podcast with Kevin McCloud here: PODCAST

Green Heroes is a showcase of eco-innovations curated by design guru Kevin McCloud. The exhibition is inspired by Kevin’s passion for state-of-the-art eco-friendly products, green building products, and beautiful design.

9 incredible products were displayed mine and Adam’s top 3 are:


3.Moss Tiles from Poppy Pippin

Design solutions that improve cities and create a healthier environment

Aiming to improve the air quality in urban environments by encouraging moss growth. Moss absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen. The presence of moss would also bring nature to the city, encouraging a connection between people and their environment.

The tiles are made of terracotta, and would be installed on exterior walls and floors. To help the moss thrive, the tiles are designed with multiple indentations and a textured surface.


2. Clay Speaker from Mapuguaquen

The world's first active sound system made of clay

Fusing state of the art electronics and craft techniques to create unique, customised pieces, using raw, regional and biodegradable materials.


1.Air-Ink from - KAALINK

The first ink made entirely out of air pollution

Our absolute favourite is Air-Ink. Pollution collected by KAALINK undergoes various proprietary processes to make the end product is safe to use. Then the carbon is taken through a chemical process to make different types of inks and paints. The ink is then used by artists and printing companies to create carbon-negative prints.


Following Kevin’s talk we ventured over to a presentation by Studio Bark on their U-Build construction method.

The U-Build building process is a revolution in construction, providing a robust and affordable self-build solution, which can be assembled by a small team, as demonstrated on the TV show; Grand Designs: The Street.

The Studio Bark structure at Grand Designs Live is designed to showcase the benefits of self-build. Studio Bark, together with the show visitors, will continue making and adding further modular U-Build components onto the stand each day to demonstrate its flexibility and functionality.


Where things got really exciting was the partnership with Fologram, a company that creates augmented reality environments, Studio Bark allows visitors to see the full potential behind the build, giving them a chance to see the end product of the build in an augmented reality environment, using HoloLens, a AR headset with transparent lenses. Fologram’s software allows users to see their designs in the real world through augmented reality. By using the Microsoft HoloLens, an AR headset with transparent lenses, Studio Bark will explain the advantages of using augmented reality and holographic instructions to help self-build enthusiasts realise their potential within an immersive teaching environment. As an intuitive alternative to complex drawings and instructions, augmented reality allows the user to see digital information in the real world, in this case their building plans and instructions in how to assemble their structure. The system promises to save time and improve the quality of finished construction.

Grand Designs Live runs from the 2nd to the 10th of May at London Excel and tickets are available to purchase on their website, click here for ticket information. If you can’t make the London show they will be at the Birmingham NEC from the 9th to the 13th of October.

EP023 - 7 Point Sales Process with Tony Webster (Tom's Dad!)

EP023 - 7 Point Sales Process with Tony Webster (Tom's Dad!)

EP022 - Interview - Kevin McCloud - Grand Designs Presenter, Journalist & Product Designer

EP022 - Interview - Kevin McCloud - Grand Designs Presenter, Journalist & Product Designer