I am forever the optimist but these sure are tough times to be optimistic about our future! I did feel a bit of doom and gloom while watching these designers think about the future.
This saddens me... When the producers first started developing the premise of this challenge, I thought it kind of silly, a bit gimmicky. But as I thought about it my mind started to go BACK in time. Back to the time I was a child. Back to the time we were allowed to let our imaginations run WILD. "What fun" I thought -- this was the one exercise that they could really go crazy, be unrestricted by form and function and just let loose.
In retrospect, I wish we had given them more time for the planning stage of this challenge, more time to wrap their brains around the possibilities, the fantastical. And I wish I could have seen Wisit in this challenge. I can only imagine how entertaining his room would be!
Overall it was clear the judges were a bit under-whelmed by the outcome of this challenge. I wasn't so much under-whelmed as I was depressed by the doom and gloom feeling I got from most of the spaces... After all, we are designers and it is our job to create a space that is beautiful and makes us feel GOOD while we are in it regardless of what is going on outside!
I am happy with the judge's decision to select Preston as the winner. Even though his space was dark, it wasn't at all gloomy. The wall of light and the chandelier were pure joy and the wall of crown molding was whimsical. It put a smile on my face. And Jonathan said it best -- Preston's finished spaces are ALWAYS beautifully polished and chic. He has great taste and knows how to execute his plans precisely.
Eddie sure did let his imagination run wild but hopefully not the imagination he had as a child! Yikes! Talk about doom and gloom! 20 Eddies running around?? In this challenge Eddie lost the qualities that the judges love most about his work and just went off the edge. And I have to tell you, behind-the-scenes it was very clear that he has just about had enough of this competition. He got that "f#*k it" attitude and lost his great design sensibility... If Eddie would just get out of his own way, open up his mind just a little bit, he might actually be able to learn something from this experience and go from a very talented designer to an extraordinary one.
Nathan and his damn immunity! He is so good when he taps into it and I feel like he slacks off just that little bit every time he has immunity we don't get see his best designs... His space was nice but wasn't all that he had to give... I thought Ondine was going to blow everyone out of the water (or space, whatever) on this challenge originally. I thought she would have really run with this one. But again, as Jonathan so perfectly suggested, she spent a great deal of effort on the idea but couldn't pull it together to tell her story through her room. Too bad, she really does have a wonderful imagination.
I actually quite liked Natalie's space and the thought process behind it was very clever. I thought Andrea's space was lovely, the colors were beautiful and finally someone with a brighter view of the future! But the design was less than a professional designer's standard. A college student could have put that together in their dorm room.
However, I was pleased with the judge's decision to take into consideration the entire body of work that each of these two designers had brought to the competition. With that in mind, Natalie was the correct choice. I wish the judges had the same thought process when I was up on the chopping block! Andrea was spared because of some of her previous successes. The rest of the designers were truly sad to see Natalie go. She is a doll and has an infectious smile and it was so nice to hear her say that she had learned a great deal and will carry that with her into her very bright future! What really saddened me was this week's pop design... We had put together a fantastic game show with so many fun questions and challenges for the designers to show us that they had the foundation, the education of design, and they really let us down.
We only got a few questions in before they were all eliminated! Shame on you! If designers work with style and taste alone, without the foundation of education, without learning the technical side of things, our future in design will certainly be very bleak indeed...