I just cannot stop comparing Top Design and Project Runway. I watched both on Wed. What's the difference?
The dream of showing at Bryant park seems urgent and important, like the 8 year old's dream of going to the World Series. Watch baseball and behind every inning is this dream. We can all relate to that. Project Runway uncovers step by step a creative person's life dream. We, the viewers, find ourself actually caring. The competition has a reason for being. It's not simply a competitor's wish for fame. I'd love the cash and a spread in Elle Decor! But truthfully, I font find myself routing for a dream to come true for a competitor of Top Design. Do I care?
Funny, when I watch (which is very rarely) Deal or No Deal, I want the people to win. So it must be something else about Top Design that makes me not care. That I am in the business? That there's a flaw in the show set up? Hmmm I am still not sure what it is. But something is off about the show from where I sit.
Maybe it's the individual challenges themselves. Now a dress made out of melted plastic drink cups is not something I would wear, although blue is one of my best colors, just ask my mom! I could wear it once to a themed party, I suppose. But it wouldn't end up being the equivalent of my best black slacks. But that's not the point. This challenge was about pure whimsy and creative use of materials.
This weeks challenge on Top Design was an eco-challenge. Take the existing office furnishings and re-use, we-work, recycle. Of course they were able to "shop" in the Top Design showroom and they had to use remnant fabrics that they found in a fabric store.
What came out good? Kudos to re-configuring a rug pad into a wall covering, even better that it can be used to tack things to the wall. How Green! And the texture looks good too! So it gets points for its creativity, it's function and it's beauty (in it's own way). Here's the catch. In an office you need to be able to get a job done. It's not the same as a challenge about grocery store materials. An office environment needs to be productive and safe. You cannot drape any old fabric on a chair. You cannot drape any old fabric as window treatments. That's not to fire code.This REALLY bothered me that the judges did not mention this.
So I am going to assume the product put down as the floor mat and now tacked to the wall was to fire code, we can take that issue off the list. But how on earth can you clean that wall feature? A clean environment contributes to safety and productivity.
The tiles make up what looks like the brown rectangle in the picture.
Here's another question: What's it going to look like in humidity if the carpet pad tiles curl? What's it going to look like in 6 months? How sturdy is it? This is where creativity and practicality do not intersect for me.
The other interesting solution in the office was the recycled Coke bottle light fixture. (sorry couldn't find a picture) Very very interesting on a lot of levels. But here's my problem: how on earth does that help you do your job if you cannot read by it? Sometimes in design, you have a light that is purely decorative, a really amazing chandelier that does not light a space, for example. Just something fabulous and you like the room with other sources. OK so put that coke bottle light fixture in the entry way. Makes sense in a company that works with water recycling. But in a work space?
You see for me, practicality trumps creativity in an office space. What good is it if it's cool if productivity wanes? I would have liked the judges to actually talk about these aspects of interiors in the same way the project runway judges talk about wear-ability.
I am disappointed in Top Design. I guess I am just too practical and haven't found a reason to care about the contestants yet. Your thoughts?