Home  /  Everything Else: Interview  /  Designer Jamie Durie Talks about the ‘Drama in Design’ in Design Reality TV series “The Apartment: Rising Stars Edition”.

Designer Jamie Durie Talks about the ‘Drama in Design’ in Design Reality TV series “The Apartment: Rising Stars Edition”.

By Flora  /  15 Mar 2017 (Wednesday)

Photo Credit: SONY

In any reality TV programme, you’re bound to expect some kind of drama. While we won’t expect a full-fledged confrontational ‘The Bachelor’ controversy, nor a ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’-esque catfight, rest assured for some kind of bickering from upcoming design show “The Apartment: Rising Stars Edition” - all in style, of course.

Host and judge of the series, Jamie Durie, assures us.

The reality TV series is Sony Channel’s first original 10-episodes series where 12 up-and-coming designers around Asia compete to become the next style superstar. Joining Durie on the judging panel are world-renowned interior designer Laurence-Llewelyn Bowen, and home product designer Genevieve Gorder. 

“Certainly the judges’ drama. Laurence brings a lot of drama to the table,” he laughed, adding: “The contestants are full of drama as well because they’ve been stripped off their personal lives, moved out of their jobs and put into one house where they’ve got to learn to live with each other and compete with each other. So emotions are running high.”

“And there’s a little bit of love coming out from it too,” he teased.

Photo Credit: SONY

Despite having hosted over 50 design shows, the award-winning landscape architect and furniture designer shared that hosting “The Apartment” was still ‘a real eye-opener’. 

“Dealing with all of these young professionals with different backgrounds - whether they are in fashion, design or in architect, they are all competing on the same level. Some of them are builders and some of them are architects, but what comes out of this (show) is quite astonishing! So for me, it was a real eye opener. I don’t think I’ve expected anything to play out the way it did and I’ve been doing this a long time,” he chuckled.

Design and style, like creativity, can be subjective; so how does one critique an art form, you may ask. Well, for Durie, he looks at the execution of design and even down to the materials used, if they came from sustainable resources. 

“I look for the execution of architecture, and so I’ll be looking the paint furnishes, the way the wallpapers are applied, and things like where the lights are positioned, or the orientation of the room,” he shared. “I judge them quite harshly when I see them using materials that are disrespectful to nature. I do believe good architecture should nurture your soul, and intrinsically we human beings are more connected to nature.”

When asked about his favourite concept from the show, Durie cited a chill-out room by three male contestants, as an example. “Laurence didn’t like it at all, but to me, it was very zen-like and it certainly appealed to my taste and sensibility.”

He added: “We are all looking for different things, which is great because we are all different judges looking out for the different aspects of design.”

In addition to Durie’s many talents and passions, the qualified horticulturist leads the ‘transterior movement’ with his designs - to create a cross combination of bringing the outdoors in and the indoors out. 

“I have a deep connection to nature and so what I bring to furniture I guess, is that natural connection. I call it raw luxury. My depiction of luxury now is design that nurtures the soul and in most cases, nature nurtures the soul; and if we nurture nature, nature will nurture us!”

He shared: “I’m constantly getting inspiration from nature, definitely. I think nature has always been my biggest teacher, but in saying that, I’m equally inspired by the things I see around me! There are a lot of man-made shape and materials that inspire me.”

“My role as a furniture designer is to continue to innovate the materials and adapt to sophisticated technology. Given my background working with nature for so many years, I think it’s also my responsibility to bring a part of who I am into furniture design… You’ve got to constantly innovate and (ensure that) you are not replicating your own ideas or anyone else’s so that it’s unique, fresh, and staying relevant. 


The Apartment: Rising Stars Edition premieres on 16 March, Thursday at 7.55pm on Sony Channel! 
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