Five things to do in March

Learn how to live a greener life at Ecobuild, see how contemporary furniture is created at Input and visit the big shopping beano that is the Ideal Home Show
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Verso chairs in various colours
See how contemporary furniture, like these Verso chairs, are created at Input


March 20-22, at ExCeL, One Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 (020 7560 4445;
Ecobuild sets out to break down the highly technical, jargon-laden rules for homeowners who want to know how to live a greener life.

“We’re the world’s biggest event for sustainable design, construction and the built environment - and free,” says show director Moira Edwards. There are more than 1,500 exhibitors, a dozen attractions and live demos, and over 130 free conference and seminar sessions with 800 expert speakers.

More than 55,000 visitors are expected. Visit, for example, the “solar hub” - with new technology and tips on the feed-in tariff (FiT). Products, talks and demos explain the renewable heat incentive (RHI) while the biodiversity pavilion offers a natural approach. Eco-celebrities on the podium include Monty Don, Janet Street-Porter, Greg Dyke, Kevin McCloud and many more.


March 16 to April 3, Coexistence, 288 Upper Street, N1 (020 7354 8817;;
Design addicts will love seeing how contemporary furniture is created. Cornish brand MARK (founded in 2008) launches its Verso chair this month (pictured), designed by Tomoko Azumi. See every stage of the process, from sketches to production. More films and photos show off traditional and modern woodworking skills - as used, for example, in furniture by Gala Wright and Dylan Freeth.


Until May 27 at Roca London Gallery, Station Court, Townmead Road, SW6 (020 7610 9503;
With architect Zaha Hadid’s new showroom for Roca, the global Spanish bathroom maker is worth a visit. It is hosting a fascinating show on the history of the bathroom. See how people coped through history, often with romantic stories attached. View, for example an 1880s bidet and dressing table from the Corfu castle of the Empress Elisabeth of Wittelsbach. Contrast this with the very latest eco-loo-cum-basin, which uses waste hand-washing water for the flush.

King's Mill Hospital
Colour has been added to King's Mill Hospital in Mansfield by Ptolemy Mann


March 16 to April 1, Earls Court Exhibition Centre, Warwick Road, SW5 (
Basically one big home shopping beano (plus abundant demos and promos), this year’s show areas include interiors, home improvements, gardens, food, housewares and gadgets, with special features such as the top-tech “home of the future”. Tickets: adult £12, concessions £10. Weekend: adult £15, concessions £12.


Ptolemy Mann: The Architecture of Cloth, Colour and Space, 16 March to April 21, The Aram Gallery, 110 Drury Lane, WC2 (;
Artist/designer Ptolemy Mann has added her vibrant touch to everything from ceramics and rugs to clothing and furniture (Kristian Stringer and Marina Dragomirova). She’s even added colour to buildings, as at King’s Mill Hospital, Mansfield (pictured). Now a new ikat collection uses digital printing to put her hand-dyed/woven patterns on to fabric by the metre (coming shortly to John Lewis). This show explores Mann’s ways of working, from hand-dyeing to weaving and printing. It also displays her furniture, woven artworks, and scale drawings of architectural projects.

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