"Top Design"

Feb. 5, 2007

Why one reader believes Bravo's new reality show will misconstrue the true definition of interior design.

Evidently Bravo, the so called Arts and Entertainment Network, will be debuting a new reality competition show called "Top Design."

Modeled after "Top Chef," the network's successful cooking show competition for celebrity chef wannabes, this new show, premiering January 31st, will pit 12 designers/decorators against each other in various non-syndical residential design challenges. I will not go into further detail—suffice it to say that like other pop media shows of the genre the profession of interior design is going to be slandered.

This is a prime time (pun intended) opportunity for interior design's two professional organizations to take a stand against unqualified usage of the term and continued denigration of the process and value of interior design. At this point, a well worded press release explaining the difference between interior design as practiced by qualified individuals and shameless decorators posing as interior designers will be seen as a proactive shot over the bow.

After it becomes a hit, any effort to rationalize the misuse of the term and process will be a waste of effort. In the various media outlets touting this show the term "interior design" is already being misconstrued and applied to the shows host Todd Oldham and its participants.

While I respect Mr. Oldham's self promotion skills, a qualified "interior designer" he is not. Since the show is based in Hollywood, I hope that the California Council for Interior Design Certification will closely monitor the use of the term "interior design" by the show. Any qualified interior designer participating in the show, while they are free to do so, should be shamed into absolving their rights as a professional "interior designer."

Mike Dudek, IDEC, NCIDQ #005265

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