Tiger Woods on the site of the Punta Brava golf course in Dubai.
Photo credit: Punta Brava.
You'd have to have been living under a rock for the past few years to have not heard about Brad Pitt's involvement in the reconstruction of New Orlean's Lower Ninth Ward. For those few that have, indeed missed the news, Pitt's currently making the rounds on The Today Show, Ellen, and the like, and the January issue of Architectural Digest is putting it once again in the spotlight with a cover story on Pitt's initiatives with the Make It Right foundation.
Pitt, of course, is not the first celebrity to profess a love of design (although he may be the the biggest media darling to do so). A few years ago, The New York Times quickly reported on the emergence of celebrity architecture aficionados and it seems the trend is only growing. Pitt's former co-star Edward Norton has long been an advocate for New York's High Line development and years ago, tennis champion Venus Willams and rocker Lenny Kravitz both launched their own design practices, V Starr Interiors and Kravitz Design. Tiger Woods has Tiger Woods Design, which is building a number of golf courses around the globe, most notably in Dubai. The naked chef, Jamie Oliver, also has joined the Dubai rush, overseeing the design of two new restaurants as well as individual kitchens in houses along a golf course development. The fashion world wants a piece, too: Chanel legend Karl Lagerfeld is creating a space on one of the region's man-made archipelagos, while Giorgio Armani is rumored to be unveiling a masterplan soon (so, too, is Boris Becker).
But are these celebrity designers truly helping the industry? Most of them, if not all of them, are not trained interior designers or architects. In our star-struck culture, however, it's easy to swoon over the involvement of such high-profile names and get excited when outlets like The Today Show are bringing the issue of design in to households that may not otherwise pay attention. What do you think? Does the industry already have enough star-sized egos of its own?