Culture

Lauren Laverne to host new Sky Arts reality competition The Big Design Challenge

DJ Lauren Laverne poses to promote The Great Design Challenge

Sky Arts has announced a new design skills reality show, to be hosted by DJ Lauren Laverne. The Big Design Challenge, airing next year, will feature eight top creatives battling it out over five episodes to be crowned Britain’s next design superstar.

The competitors will put their problem-solving abilities and creative flair to the test as they face a range of weekly challenges, set by a guest judge. 

Presenter Konnie Huq will task the designers to create an outdoor play sculpture for children; author Lemn Sissay will ask for a new national reading chair for public libraries; restaurateur Mourad Mazouz will challenge the designers to create a lighting design for a home dining experience, and space scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock will ask the designers to reimagine  the clock.

Music duo and Brit Award nominee Orbital, will play live from the V&A and set a final challenge to invent an object or product inspired by their music.

The competitors will put their problem-solving abilities and creative flair to the test as they face a range of weekly challenges… 

Joining Laverne on the Sky TV show, and forming the judging panel, will be artist and designer Morag Myerscough and industrial designer Tej Chauhan. The trio will cast their eyes over the various creations throughout the series and separate the successes from the disasters.

Sky Arts will be hoping the new show replicates the success of its breakout hit Portrait Artist of the Year.

Here’s the format: the designers will compete in two teams of four each week, led by a different team captain. At the end of each challenge, one team will be declared the winner, with all eight artists judged individually by Morag, Tej and the guest judge. When four challenges are complete, two finalists will be announced whose work has impressed the most over the course of the series. They’ll go on to lead the teams for the final challenge taking place at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. The winner will have the opportunity to exhibit their designs at the V&A.

“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,” comments Laverne. “I can’t wait to introduce our viewers to our wonderful judges, fantastically talented designers and some extraordinary guests!”

The Big Design Challenge will air on Sky Arts, Freeview Channel 11, and streaming service NOW in February 2022

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