Top Design Recap, Episode Four: Student Projects!
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Todd Oldham is having a picnic with the designers in front of the Pacific Design Center. He tells them they actually get to meet their clients for this challenge. There is much rejoicing. Then he tells them the clients will be really picky. There is much feigning of horror. Clients are picky; so what?
Well, their clients turn out to be design students. Why would design students need designers? I don't get it. Anyway, they are supposed to design a 12 by 12 room for sleeping, eating, working, and putting on productions of experimental theater.
The designers are paired with younger versions of themselves:
Clients: "I'm messy, I like orange, I'm into mid-century modern design, I like things very organized, I love art!"
Designers: "Oh, my god! Me too!"
Mike Myers: "I'll call them Mini Me!"
Ryan: "Yes! Art! Fuck you, Saint-Tropez!"
Saint-Tropez: "No; fuck you, Ryan!"
Wow, I'm a little surprised Saint-Tropez would use language like that.
Early the next morning Todd breaks in to the women's loft. He tells them they will be shopping at garage sales and they will have $500.
OK, this is my favorite challenge so far! Unlike spending $50,000 at the PDC, decorating a room from garage sales is something I can relate to. I don't know if most designers spend a lot of time a garage sales but I'm sure they go to flea markets and used furniture stores, where you can find similar items. Maybe they wouldn't design entire rooms that way but they would certainly find some pieces, depending on the client's aesthetic, so I think this challenge is fun and has some real-world application.
Todd tells the designers that this challenge will also be about picking their carpenters:
Daniel Vosovic: "It's a motherfucking walk-off!"
Well, not quite, Daniel. The winner of this challenge will get to pick the hottest carpenter but I don't know how the rest will pick. And the picking doesn't even happen during this episode so I don't know why they even brought it up.
In order to suddenly make the carpenters an issue the editors make sure we notice the problems Carisa is having with hers. I don't know her carpenter's name so we'll just call her Karen:
Karen the Carpenter: "Here's the rolling piece of crap you requested."
Carisa: "Oh, my god, I can't use that! What's wrong with you, Karen?"
Karen the Carpenter: "Oh, rainy days and Mondays always get me down."
Carisa: "It's Thursday and it's sunny out, for Christ's sake! And we're completely out of time!"
Karen the Carpenter: "No, we've only just begun ... to live ... white lace and promises ... a kiss for luck and we're on our way!"
Carisa: "For the last time, I am not kissing you! We are totally screwed! I have to throw that whole thing out. I've had it with you!"
Karen the Carpenter: "I know you are upset with me but I just want you to know this: When there's no getting over that rainbow, when my smallest of dreams won't come true, I can take all the madness the world has to give but I won't last a day without you!"
Carisa: "STOP WITH THE DAMN SINGING! And, for the love of god, would you please eat a sandwich!"
Before we get to the judging let me tell you who the guest judge is this week: It's Joe Stewart! Would you have seen any of his work before? Well, how about the room you're standing in right now! That's right, he designed the White Room! It certainly has more of an impact than his work as a judge.
In addition to her carpenter problems Carisa is also having color issues. Todd points out that everything she does is orange and green. I actually thought she's used more red and green, but whatever. So now, for a change of pace, she's using red and green. If she wanted orange but was afraid of using the same color combination, why didn't she use orange with a color other than green? Also, I don't know why she painted a wall red, kept an orange chair and rug, and then painted the furniture this weird fuschia that seemed to clash with everything. But she did manage to buy a really cool chair, a terrific floor lamp, and some other good pieces. I never find anything that cool at garage sales. Even Margaret, chief of the pillow police, liked her use of pillows in this challenge.
Ryan decorates his room with crushed glass:
Ryan: "It's participatory art."
Ryan's Client: "I love that he made art for me! But how is it participatory? Ow! Oh, my god; I'm bleeding all over the wall!"
Ryan: "See; you're collaborating in the work of art!"
Matt creates a room inspired by Armani Casa. It's really good. I don't think he got very interesting garage sale items but he really transformed them in to something nice.
Andrea's room has lots of storage and it's not bad but her sofa is too narrow to sleep on.
Goil creates a platform sleeping area with a sunken bed that confuses Margaret and cool chairs that have the back legs cut off so that they sit halfway on a ledge.
Felicia puts up fabric on one wall. I love the fabric. And I actually don't mind the room; I appreciate that she pretended the room might actually have a window. But, like almost everyone else on earth, I hate the afghan she put on the bed. I can almost see getting away with that in a bohemian, hippie way but it just doesn't quite work in this room. The client wants to kill herself. That's never good.
Erik puts wood up the back wall and hangs folding chairs on the side wall, which is a really nice detail for a small space. He has a work of art that is just the word "art" painted on a canvas. It's postmodern but cliched and it doesn't work.
I was really impressed with Michael in this challenge. I LOVE the furniture he bought and the built-in bed looks really good. I didn't hate the colors but I have to agree with the judges that they were not bright and happy:
Michael: "I disagree."
Judges: "It's banana and grape."
Michael: "I disagree."
Judges: "We think you're colorblind."
Michael: "I disagree."
He's obviously talented but he has trouble associating the right emotion to what he's designing. His color choices for both this and his child's room were muted and somber and he seems to think they were youthful and cheery.
Matt and Carisa are the top two:
Judges: "Carisa, tell us about your room."
Carisa: "Well, there was supposed to be this big rolling desk but I threw it out."
Judges: "Wow, you really know how to sell your design! You win!"
I think Matt's was better but he just doesn't have the great story-telling ability that Carisa has.
Ryan and Felicia are the bottom two:
Felicia: "My client told me she wanted a room that would make her suicidal and I think I succeeded."
Ryan: "My client wanted art."
Judges: "But she didn't want to have to live in the middle of an installation piece. It was chaotic and made her feel like she was in prison. You seem to only be interested in making art. Do you even want to be a designer?"
Ryan: "I want to be a designer but I just want to be able to do whatever I want and not pay attention to the needs of the client."
Kelly: "Well, that seems perfectly reasonable."
Jonathan: "Margaret and I think he's an asshole."
Margaret: "In fact, you're going to see my foot in his ass in a minute. Oh, wait ... not with these shoes."
Jonathan: "Felicia, Vickie Lawrence called. She wants the set to Mama's Family back. Goodbye."