The Great Big Tiny Design Challenge Episode 1
Updated: Apr 20, 2022
Produced by Yeti for Channel 4, the competition format challenges designers to renovate doll-sized fantasy homes. The series features Sandi Toksvig with interior design guru Laura Jackson and micro-sculptor Willard Wigan MBE as judges.
Above Image: Presenter. Sandi Toksvig, Judges. Me, Laura Jackson and all the contestants Below Image: Me and Laura Jackson
Sandi Toksvig hosts as amateur crafters put their miniature-making skills to the test and compete to transform a derelict mini-mansion into the ultimate fantasy house
The miniaturists create mini-busts of themselves before teaming up to design and make a Regency-themed dining room. Plus: Sandi visits Ickworth House in Suffolk for a tour of its stunning dining room.
“I always have my mini head on! I’m always looking at things and thinking how can I make that miniature?”
After growing up in North London, Beth lived in France for 15 years teaching English language to French students. Beth now works as a magistrate as well as being a mum to three adult children and a step-mum to her partner’s three grown-up children. She loves spending as much time as she can in her garden house turned miniature workshop, where she enjoys creating to her hearts content.
Occupation: Animation Director
With a music composer as a father and a TV and computer games designer mother, Bexie was destined to have a creative occupation. She completed a degree in animation followed by a master’s in animation direction at the National Film and Television School. Bexie has built a career in animation direction, but it wasn’t until a film required her to build miniature film sets that she really found a flair for tiny creations.
Location: West Yorkshire
Occupation: Mechanical Engineer
“It’s not uncommon for my girlfriend to walk into my crafting room and be blasted by medieval tavern music or Viking chants!”
Dom studied product design and now works in mechanical engineering. His education and profession enable him to make miniatures of high detail and quality. Dom’s favourite thing about crafting is the community, he loves sharing tips and tricks online with people who have the same passion for miniatures as him. Dom loves going to rock and metal gigs, he is a big rugby fan and is an amateur power lifter.
Occupation: Web designer and customer service associate
“Sometimes I’m scrolling Instagram and my brain sort of ‘miniaturises’ something.”
Elizabeth has always been arty and loves all kinds of making and creating. Elizabeth feels crafting has a positive impact on health and wellbeing and volunteers for a North London charity that facilitates creative sessions for teenage girls excluded from mainstream school. Elizabeth thrives off collaborating with artists to make miniature versions of their work and she loves visiting doll’s house exhibitions.
Occupation: Fish and chip shop assistant
“I really enjoy it and I do push myself to the limit!”
Julie is a chatty, people person who previously lived in LA where she worked as a beauty therapist. She has always worked with her hands and has previously been a barber and a tattoo artist. Julie now works front of house at her husband’s fish and chip shop. She has thrown herself into making doll’s houses over the past few years and it’s become her most cherished hobby, although her husband and children thought she’d lost the plot when she first bought a doll’s house!
Location: Tyne & Wear
Occupation: Artist and masseur
“I respond to a design brief with energy, a unique perspective and out-of-the-box creativity.”
Matthew has a meticulous eye for detail and a practical, resourceful approach. He studied costume design and learnt skills such as corsetry, millinery and set design, which involved making miniatures. Since graduating, Matthew has worked freelance in prop making, set dressing and costume design. He also runs creative workshops for people with mental health issues.
Location: West Yorkshire
Occupation: Miniature artist
“It’s lovely to see other people’s reactions to such tiny things. There is a real magic to anything in mini.”
Michael’s been miniature-mad for as long as he can remember. After realising he could make his own sculptures instead of buying them, his miniature world grew and he began his own business. With a degree in dance, Michael is a performer and loves the theatrical while also possessing a flare for tiny details. He loves the tiny-world community and meeting fellow enthusiasts.
“I live and breathe miniatures!”
Growing up in South East Asia, Nadia fell in love with the world of Polly Pocket and all things tiny. She worked in the corporate world of PR and events but has now given up her career for a quieter life in the Norfolk countryside with her husband and dog. Nadia’s miniatures are an ode to the sweet treats we all enjoy, from tiny cakes to miniature sweets that could make a decadent spread on any miniature dining table.
Location: South Wales
Occupation: Computer analyst
“I wish I could make myself smaller so I could fit inside my own little dream world.”
Sharon has been fascinated with all things tiny ever since a young age. Sharon is hard of hearing and struggled to communicate with others in school so immersed herself in every type of craft that she could turn her hand to. During lockdown, Sharon reignited her passion for miniatures and has since renovated a traditional doll's house into an upstairs-downstairs music shop/café bar. She has also produced a true to life replica of her neighbour’s potting shed!
Location: County Carlow, Ireland
Occupation: Garden centre employee
Thomas has been teaching himself everything and anything to do with the world of miniatures since 2006. His love of stately homes and Jane Austen novels inspired him to try and recreate those period homes in miniature. A trained horticulturist, Thomas spends his days gardening at Altamont House in County Carlow before perfecting his miniatures. Thomas has a keen eye for detail and loves to spend his time researching the history behind stately homes, using his findings as inspiration for his intricately designed miniatures.
The Great Big Tiny Design Challenge 2022 guide
Watch the first episode click below 👇👇👇
Channel 4 Subscribe Today 👇👇👇