• 03.17.14

Surreal Miniatures That Depict The Dark Side Of Suburbia

Meet Thomas Doyle, who creates miniature domestic scenes where not everything is as it seems.

Thomas Doyle, formerly based in Brooklyn but now out in the ‘burbs, creates beautiful, precise miniature scenes depicting surreal domesticity. These aren’t your standard miniatures; Doyle says his works “distort reality through a warped and dreamlike lens.”


That might mean creating a warm, cozy suburban house during a cold winter trapped inside a snowglobe-like glass shell, with a tiny person outside of the shell peering in. Or a perfect home that just so happens to be upside down, with the basement and foundations aboveground and the actual house below-ground. Or a lovely farmhouse-style home that happens to be surrounded on all sides by impenetrable glaciers.

Cool Hunting went to Doyle’s home studio, just north of New York City, and filmed a great mini-documentary about the artist’s process. He likes to modify existing miniatures from model train sets by chopping off the limbs of the teensy people and repositioning them to better build his own twisted scenes. And he sees his miniature pieces as stories–just one episode from an ongoing narrative, with bits that came before and bits that will come after. You can learn more about Doyle on his site.

About the author

Dan Nosowitz is a freelance writer and editor who has written for Popular Science, The Awl, Gizmodo, Fast Company, BuzzFeed, and elsewhere. He holds an undergraduate degree from McGill University and currently lives in Brooklyn, because he has a beard and glasses and that's the law.