How Does Framework Hold Up?

This past Tuesday was the premier of Spike’s new reality competition show, Framework, where furniture designers compete to win $100,000. Here’s the description from Spike’s website:

ABOUT Framework

Hosted by hip-hop superstar Common, ‘FRAMEWORK’ is a new arc competition series exploring the compelling world of furniture design/construction. It’s not enough to design an eye-catching, unique AND functional piece of furniture, these 13 elite furniture craftsman have to build it too. The clock is ticking and the stakes are sky-high as the last competitor standing will receive an incredible prize package including the ability to launch their own line with a major furniture brand.
Framework Judges Nolen Niu And Brandon Gore Tune in to the series premiere of Framework on January 6 at 10/9c on SPIKE.

It’s basically Inkmaster for furniture designers.

I’m not so sure that I like this show. I’ll state upfront that while I watched both seasons of Work of Art, I didn’t really like that either. Add in Inkmaster and I can say that none of these programs gave/give you an inside peek into how artists work. You never get to see enough of their process and absolutely none of their design inspiration process. Framework is no exception to this, though it is still the beginning. I can only assume that they will stir the pot to add drama like on EVERY other reality show out there.

I can’t say that I was a big fan of anything that was made on Tuesday’s program, but to be fair, the designers have a total of 12 hours to design and make the piece spread over two days. That leaves zero time for working through flaws, trouble shooting, or just for taking the time to have excellent detail work. Or, as two designers found out, to make sure your furniture is functional and doesn’t break apart.

I’ll keep watching it, at least for a few more episodes, but I don’t have too much hope. Did you watch it? What did you think about it?

Just an aside: It seems that all the participants considered themselves “Mid-Century Modern” While I see where they are coming from, wouldn’t you want to be something more contemporary? Wouldn’t that be a better challenge, see designers creating style for now?

2 thoughts on “How Does Framework Hold Up?

  1. Don’t you think that “reality” shows, including the DIY and Food Channel fare, do a great disservice to artists and artisans by giving the general public serious misconceptions about what can be done in a given time frame? As you say, the inspiration, planning, trial-running, and other things that we do – in the real world – are glossed over or completely ignored. I think these shows add another layer of complexity to what we do, by creating massively unrealistic expectations in our potential client pool.


    1. And I feel like they foster pettiness and make the participants look like a bunch of crybabies. No one sees that the contestants on these shows are sleep deprived and coerced into fighting with each other, not to mention the editing to make it look worse than it is. That’s why I like Face/Off because the participants actually help each other out and you get to see more of the process.


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