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Design is no trivial TV pursuit

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You do not seem to have noticed or commented on the fact that the tv is awash with programmes about design - or, to be exact, house design, interior design and garden design. Not only that but they are so popular, would you believe? And they all seem to be presented by simpering, giggling, hyper young women who run everywhere a la Aneka Rice. I can't decide which one is more obnoxious - vacuous Vorderman, silly Smillie or maudlin McKevitt. And as for that long-haired prat in leather trousers, is he a comic actor playing the role of stereotype wet interior decorator?

But that's just me. The point is that design is presented as a superficial trivial matter of choosing a few colours and patterns (let's stencil swastikas on the ceiling) with a few diy hints (how to make a four-poster bed out of central-heating pipes) and that it can be done by amateurs in a few hours on a shoe-string. The programmes also perpetuate the myth that design can be achieved by the imposition of 'ideas' without any reference to the users, turning perfectly reasonable rooms and gardens into Disneyfied Tatsville. Where are the protests from interior designers . . . sorry interior architects? Just imagine the outcry if the medical or legal professions were treated like this. Actually, I've just had a brilliant idea for a series. It could be called Transfusion in which couples, with the assistance of amateur doctors, practice plastic surgery on their neighbours with hilarious consequences. Should be a winner!

SHEILA MULLON

London SW4

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