Sky Arts and its channel sponsor Lexus are set to spotlight Britain’s best design talent with a new ad-funded series The Big Design Challenge, airing in February 2022. Hosted by DJ, author and presenter Lauren Laverne, this new programme will see eight top creatives compete over five episodes to be crowned Britain’s next design superstar and have their work displayed at the prestigious V&A museum.
The Big Design Challenge forms the latest activation in the partnership between Sky Arts and Lexus that reinforces the brand’s design-led credentials and connection to craftsmanship. The show has been funded by Lexus, including an integrated title sequence, and product placement with Lexus RX and RX L hybrid SUVs transporting the show’s design contestants and judges to the challenges across London. The show will air on Sky Arts, Freeview Channel 11, and streaming service NOW.
Drawn from all corners of the UK, 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:
- Konnie Huq, presenter, screenwriter and children’s author, challenges the designers to create a surprising object for children to engage with in a public space.
- Lemn Sissay, author and broadcaster, asks for a new national reading chair for public libraries.
- Mourad Mazouz, restaurateur and founder of Sketch, tasks the designers with creating an urban pop-up for the iconic London hotspot.
- Maggie Aderin-Pocock, space scientist and educator, sets the designers the challenge of reinventing the clock.
- Orbital, electronic music duo and Brit Award nominee, set the final challenge of designing an artistic concept for their music and performance live from the V&A.
Lauren Laverne is also joined by two expert judges, artist and designer Morag Myerscough and industrial designer Tej Chauhen, who review the designers’ creations throughout the series.
The designers will compete in two teams of four each week, led by a different team captain, and judged individually by Morag, Tej and the guest judge. At the end of each challenge, one team will be declared the winner. When four challenges are complete, two finalists will be announced and will go on to lead the teams for the final challenge taking place at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, 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.
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.”
Kevin Ledgar, General Manager, Lexus Marketing, 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.”
Abby Stanworth, Head of Partnerships at m/SIX, commented: “Working together to create The Big Design Challenge has really cemented the fantastic relationship between Lexus and Sky Arts. It is a testament to everyone who has collaborated on this project to see such an exciting and entertaining AFP hitting screens in early 2022.”
Brokered by Sky Media and m/SIX (The&Partnership’s media agency) in April this year, Lexus is sponsoring Sky Arts exclusively for 18 months.