Are you looking for a TV series to sink your teeth into this month? Allow us to recommend The Big Design Challenge on Sky Arts, the UK’s only dedicated arts channel. The new show is sponsored by Lexus and is the latest activation in our ongoing partnership with the TV channel, reinforcing the brand’s design credentials and connection to craftsmanship.
Hosted by DJ, author and presenter Lauren Laverne (above), the show will spotlight eight of Britain’s brightest design talents, putting their problem-solving abilities and creative flair to the test as they face the following range of weekly challenges, each set by a guest judge.
The Big Design Challenge: series overview
- Week one: Presenter, screenwriter and children’s author Konnie Huq challenges the designers to create a surprising object for children to engage with in a public space
- Week two: Author and broadcaster Lemn Sissay asks for a new national reading chair for public libraries
- Week three: Restaurateur and Sketch founder Mourad Mazouz tasks the designers with creating an urban pop-up for an iconic London hotspot
- Week four: Space scientist and educator Maggie Aderin-Pocock sets the designers the challenge of reinventing the clock
- Week five / series finale: Electronic music duo and Brit Award nominee Orbital set the final challenge of designing an artistic concept for the band’s music and performance live from the V&A
Lauren Laverne is also joined by two expert judges who will review the designers’ creations throughout The Big Design Challenge. These judges are artist and designer Morag Myerscough (below left) and industrial designer Tej Chauhen (below right).
The designers will compete in two teams of four each week, led by a different team captain. At the end of each challenge, Morag, Tej and the guest judge will announce the winning team. When four challenges have been completed, two finalists will be chosen to lead the teams for the final challenge. This will take place at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum (below), the world’s leading museum of art, design and performance. The winner will have the opportunity to exhibit their designs at the V&A to millions of visitors and industry experts.
What does the team think?
Lauren Laverne commented: “Design affects all of our daily lives, but the world of designers can seem a little remote from the outside – it’s been so much fun to lift the lid on that and get up close to the brilliantly creative people at its cutting edge. I can’t wait to introduce our viewers to our wonderful judges, fantastically talented designers and some extraordinary guests!”
Phil Edgar-Jones, director of Sky Arts, commented: “The Lexus brand is synonymous with beautiful and useful design so we have been thrilled to work with them to bring the Big Design Challenge to life and to explore the art of things – whether we are eating, raving or telling the time, design is all around us and this programme brings that together in a brilliantly informative and entertaining way.”
Lexus marketing spokesman Kevin Ledgar commented: “Craftsmanship is at the heart of everything we do at Lexus and is evident in all our cars, but we are also keen to promote wider creativity and to encourage up and coming designers, to improve the world we live in. The Big Design Challenge is a perfect opportunity to do this, and we look forward to seeing the amazing designs the contestants produce on the show.”
The Big Design Challenge will air on Sky Arts (Freeview channel 11) and streaming service NOW in February 2022.
Learn more: Lexus Design Award 2022