25th October
written by Dom

George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces, C4 Tuesday 24th Oct 2012. TV Review

Micro Design or Microarchitecture is what we now call small spaces converted by imaginative types into interesting and quirky homes and living/working spaces. Now we know all about that sort of thing here at OneGrandDesigns, but it seems that TV is catching on… No sooner has Kevin McCloud finished bodging and fettling his own man-made shed than Channel 4’s other resident architecty type; amiable Geordie George Clarke (of “Restoration Man” fame) crops up peeking around the nation’s “Micro Designs”.

Rob & Layla's Bedford Bus holiday home Micro Design

Rob & Layla’s Bedford Bus holiday home, featured in episode 1

The first programme offered us up a mixed bag – from the lovely couple scratching their last pennies together to convert a rickety old bus into a (truly magnificent) holiday let so that they could afford to keep their Wales smallholding together in tough times, through a thoroughly annoying Sarah Beeny wannabe with her converted horsebox to a young architect Laura’s inspired central London converted public toilet.

A slightly annoying fast-cutting between scrapbook images of interesting looking designs (unnecessary given the programme’s hour length), along with George’s own vanity project – a £300 caravan (“It’s just like the caravans I used to spend time in as a kid”) – which you just know is going to be nothing like that once his annoyingly titfer’ed TV “friend” William Harvey has finished with it only slightly spoil what is an otherwise fascinating glimpse into the lives of truly ingenious people and their wonderful creations.

I enjoyed this more than Kevin McCloud’s show – it has more genuine inspiration and ideas to offer for the person on a budget, plus there’s a tacit recognition here that people are doing these designs because it’s what they can AFFORD, rather than purely a rich man’s extravagance. Indeed, there was one quite rousing quote from the man himself which I’ll leave you with…

“if anybody is out there thinking I want to do my own small space retreat, but they’re worried about money – actually they shouldn’t be. If they can put the time and the commitment in and they can be creative about it they can realise the most incredible spaces.”

Hear Hear!

George Clarke’s amazing spaces is on Channel 4, Tuesdays at 8pm. You can watch the first episode on 4OD here

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1 Comment

  1. Rosita

    Im intrigued by the cave lined with shells!! What a mystery.

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