DESIGNER, writer and presenter Kevin McCloud has a busy few weeks ahead, with a fresh series of Grand Designs, new Channel 4 project Man Made Home, and Grand Designs Live.
Tell us about the new run of Grand Designs, opening with the Irish castle?
It was a really interesting project to follow. I was in two minds about it because we had a project that had very little in the way of drawings, not a clear vision, and it didn’t seem to be exemplary as a conservation project. But it was mad and out there, and the guy doing it is completely lovable, and the setting is utterly romantic and beautiful. It’s an extraordinary tale of connection to place and connection to this landscape and to memory.
Are there any outlandish designs in this run?
Oh yeah. Do you know what? I welcome the recession. Not with open arms, but I welcome aspects of it inasmuch as money is no longer freely available. People have to be more cautious, but they are more inventive, and far more ingenious because they have to be. You used to have to write a cheque to get out of a hole. You can’t do that now. You have to think your way out of a hole, and that’s good for the design, good for the project. I get a hunch this is the strongest series we’ve ever produced because of that.
Tell us about your other upcoming seriees, Man Made Home
That was partly inspired by reading Roger Deakin’s book about the natural world, but also it was about trying to provide myself with a little bolt hole for some low impact, low carbon living for the weekend.
• Kevin McCloud presents the new run of Grand Designs, which can be seen on Wednesday nights on Channel 4, and is repeated on 4seven.