10 top talks at Grand Designs Live

Where to find ideas and inspiration at the London show

By Paisley Tedder | 22 April 2022

After three years, Grand Designs Live 2022, the UK’s best self-build and renovation show, returns to ExCeL London for nine days from Saturday 30 April to Sunday 8 May. Sponsored by The Times and The Sunday Times, this year’s event features the launch of Green Living Live, as well as the Ask an Expert hub to solve your DIY dilemmas, plus a huge number of exhibitors to inspire and inform you.

From meeting real-life Grand Designers such as Georgie and Greg, to getting the inside track on eco houses, here are 10 of the highlights.

Please note that talks, times and participants may be subject to last-minute changes, so please check the information boards on arrival at the event.

1. Meet the Grand Designers: Iain and Jenny Shillady

Day: Saturday 30 April
Time: 11am & 4pm
Location: Grand Theatre

Were you inspired by the Scottish bothy conversion in the recent series of Grand Designs? This is your chance to hear about Iain and Jenny Shillady’s journey and ask them anything you’d like to know about their heritage project. They’ll be chatting to TV presenter Kunle Barker about their Grand Design in an unmissable talk.

Exterior view of a Scottish gardener's bothy

Iain and Jenny Shillady’s Scottish bothy. Photo: David Barbour

2. The Working from Home Project

Day: Saturday 30 April
Time: 1pm
Location: Grand Theatre

After the success of last year’s Great British Box Room project at Grand Designs Live in Birmingham, a new interior design challenge launches at the London show. The Working from Home Project, sponsored by Crown Paints, showcases the work of four aspiring interior designers competing to create the ultimate home office space. Browse their inspiration boards online, tour each of the roomsets at the event, then listen to the judging panel discuss the merits of each design.

3. Key steps to a green home renovation

Day: Sunday 1 May
Time: 2pm
Location: Green Living Live Eco Theatre

With sustainability at the top of the agenda, this talk explores highly efficient eco homes. James Furzer of JFD Architecture shares tips on increasing your home’s energy efficiency, or even retrofitting it in order to cut your carbon footprint and save money on future energy bills.

Green Living Live eco stage at Grand Designs Live

Discover the latest eco innovations at Grand Designs Live. Photo: Media10

4. How humanitarian architecture works

Day: Monday 2 May
Time: 12pm
Location: Grand Theatre

It’s easy to take our homes for granted. But imagine you lived somewhere affected by earthquakes, hurricanes, floods or war. Humanitarian architecture charity Article 25 designs and builds schools, hospitals and homes in communities that have experienced these disasters. Join Kevin McCloud and a panel of experts from the charity to learn about their incredible work.

5. Meet the Grand Designers: Georgie and Greg

Day: Monday 2 May
Time: 11am & 4pm
Location: Grand Theatre

One of Grand Design’s most popular pairs, Georgie and Greg Whitaker will be taking to the stage to revisit their single-storey barn conversion on their family farm in Sevenoaks, Kent. They’ll be sharing more of their story – which saw them overcome health concerns, planning restrictions and financial constraints – and giving an insight into their Grand Designs experience.

Grand Designs barn conversion in sevenoaks kent - 2021 tv series homes

Kevin McCloud with Georgie and Greg Whitaker. Photo: Channel 4