Established in 2004 by current owner Nick Gale, Design Innovation was set up to offer a complete one stop shop for technology in the home and commercial buildings sectors.

Based in the heart of the East Midlands and with offices in Central London, Design Innovation provides free initial advice and consultation as well as design, installation and commissioning and offers anything from CPD presentations to building professionals such as consultants and architects, through to jargon free advice to the reluctant technophobe. 

Ce Pro Europe was curios as to what makes a company like this tick and caught up with Shain Mcleod, 
lead engineer at Design Innovation to find out.

What are you up to today?

I arrived early at our office this morning for a catch up on the previous week’s jobs and to discuss what’s happening moving forward.

I will be heading out to site afterwards on this wet day to install a Gira door entry system.

How and why did you pursue a career in the Custom Install industry?

I was offered an opportunity through a friend of mine who had recently started in the industry and put my name forward.

I have always been interested in technology, but mainly in the automotive industry.

What project are you most proud of in your career and why?

It’s hard for me to define which project I am most proud of because I take great pride in all of my work.

From just swapping a faulty amp to a complete fresh system install, I put 100% into everything.

What is the worst thing (outside of your control) that has ever gone wrong on a project?

Arriving on site to commission to find it’s the day of the power switchover!

What one thing could the industry collectively do to improve its standing and profitability?

Formal training within recognised schemes such as City & Guilds, NVQ and BTEC

What is your favourite piece of AV kit on the market right now?

The Samsung HU6900 series of smart TV.

What product or concepts do you think will be the next big thing in the industry?

Dolby Atmos, as it has the potential to change the experience far more than a curved TV or 4K. 

You can invite three people living or dead out for a pint (not including family and friends). Who and why?

Ayrton Senna, Stephen Hawking and Cedric Lynch would be my choice.

I’d like to ask Ayrton Senna about his drive to become the best and what he did to keep that alive when the odds were stacked against him. In addition, how did it feel to be on the edge constantly and what did he do to keep those feelings under control when there was so much pressure to perform.

Stephen Hawking has what appears to be an infinite depth of knowledge so in itself creates too many questions I’d be able list! But to even be able to share in a primitive conversation about space and time by his standards would make my day.

Lastly, being a bit of shed inventor/solution finder myself it would be a great to have an insight from Cedric Lynch about how it felt to have taken an idea to one of the most efficient electric motors of today. What would he have done differently if he could do it again in terms of sharing his findings and knowledge?

You can only listen to one album and watch one film for the rest of your life; what are they?

The Italian Job (1969) and Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

Control4 and KNX appear to be the company’s weapons of choice; why?

KNX creates a reliable and expandable backbone for a complete project to be based on with Control4 offering a very user friendly interface.

Do you have any hidden talents?

I have an NVQ Level 3 in Vehicle Maintenance and repair.


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