Designed for the camera : Irish interior makeover television 1996–2014

Knott, Neville (2021) Designed for the camera : Irish interior makeover television 1996–2014. (PhD thesis), Kingston University, .


This thesis examines how television makeover programmes, broadcast in Ireland between 1996 and 2014, mediate the professional practice of interior design. It argues that the programme-makers, in seeking to engage viewers, used a series of strategies—notably the suppression of professional and educational knowledge about interior design—to convey an image of staged coherence that was arrived at unproblematically. In that process, it will be argued, interior design knowledge got lost, and entertainment triumphed. Focusing on these strategies, the thesis considers how the production process used interior design, nonetheless, to attract an audience and generate ratings, focusing on the relationship between amateurs and professionals, the visual construction of televised interiors, and the blurred boundaries between education and entertainment. It sets this analysis within the context of external socio-economic factors. Drawing on two thousand hours of Irish television content, the thesis investigates televisual practices and examines the changes that occurred within Irish makeover programmes between 1996 and 2014. Most importantly, it aims to extend the current understanding of the tele-visualised interior by approaching it from a production perspective. To achieve its aims, the research has drawn on both the processes of interior design and television-making, and importantly, their intersection.

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