Grand Designs Live: Gadgets galore for the house of the future

Naomi MacKay
This week’s Grand Designs Live London 2011 has lots of treats in store for gadget lovers.There’s no excuse for not spending time in the kitchen if you have the latest tailored kitchen from specialist Italian manufacturer TM Italia.


Its latest automated kitchen, dubbed PETRA, can be ‘unfolded’ using a remote control, which removes the worktops and lacquered stone or metal panels to reveal the usable areas underneath. The idea is that the kitchen can be made to ‘melt’ into the existing living space – an added bonus in the new open-plan designs that are appearing in homes of today.


We’re all after more space, and want rooms to have more than one function. Lots of us have home offices, that sometimes need to be used as guest rooms – or in smaller houses and flats, the room needs to have one function during the day and become a bedroom at night. Enter the Liftbed, which disappears into the ceiling at the flick of a switch, allowing the floorspace to be used for an office, playroom or home gym. The Liftbed has been custom built by a 3D robotic engineering company that also produces parts for Porsche and Audi vehicles.

With the weather heating up, the iwing fan has appeared at just the right time. Looking like a futuristic bird, it features large wings, which swing back and forth to create a natural stream of air. Its gentle action is apparently soundless, so a step up from noisy fans – particularly useful if you like a fan on at night when the whirring of a conventional fan can make it hard to nod off.


If you’re a big reader, take a look at the Long Form Library. This circular piece of furniture is made from hand-cut plywood. The user sits within the circle, surrounded by all their books and films, and can gently rock back and forth within the ‘cradle’. Reading lamps are positioned for optimum light, while lights around the Long Form Library’s circumference are set to change according to the brightness of the room.

For more on the show and products that are being exhibited, log on to