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BBC1’s domestic makeover series Changing Rooms is seeking designer presenters. Does this kind of TV exposure enhance or hinder the reputation of commercial design and why?

‘The “design” brief on Changing Rooms is so far removed from our day-to-day activities that its relevance to the design profession is lost on me. It was compulsive viewing to begin with, but the joke has now played out and I find it irritating. Design is not helped by its portrayal in this format. Style and taste do not film as well as the trash they purvey.’

DAVID DALZIEL, DIRECTOR, DALZIEL & POW

‘I was asked several times to be a presenter [of Changing Rooms], but neither my hair nor my shirt cuffs were long enough. Most of the “decorators” are dreadful and I can’t believe what is paraded in the name of design. However, I think these programmes have raised awareness of and interest in design issues, and will lead to better programming. Perhaps I should call Lorraine for a makeover…’

RASSHIED DIN, MANAGING DIRECTOR, DIN ASSOCIATES

‘Interesting question. I wonder what the Tate Modern would look like if Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen had designed it, but perhaps it would be more intriguing to see Jacques Herzog or Pierre de Meuron appear on Changing Rooms – which would the public identify with? The truth is, Changing Rooms is not about design, it’s about personalities, wanting to see people fail and cheap TV. In short, a veneer of design thinner than Handy Andy’s sprayed lacquer. I wonder, how many designers would be brave enough to try and make the show about truly good and appropriate design?’

BERNARD DOOLING, CREATIVE DIRECTOR, 20/20

‘Changing Rooms is Hello, OK tabloid entertainment. To ask whether it could enhance the reputation of commercial design consultants is to ask whether Style Challenge could enhance the reputation of Alexander McQueen or Tom Ford. Great design takes time, talent, innovation, thought and inspiration. Why not inspire people with great design and beauty that already exists? My reputation after 20 years in the business, working with international blue chip clients, has been reduced to failure in my mother’s eyes because I have never scrumbelled a stenciled dado or put a pair of patio doors into a former dark and underused family dining room. I mean pleeeease!’

PETER KENT, PARTNER, HOSKER, MOORE AND KENT

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