Channel 9's Unreal Estate Craptacular Pt 1: “Designer Dreams”… only without the designer

I dashed off a few whingey tweets and posts about Channel 9’s Unreal Estate the other day but have since realised that the problems on full, bald display here are so big they demand fuller dissection. In a 2 episode blog post no less. Here’s part 1:

still from Unreal Estate | Channel 9

As far as design culture is concerned, the show’s a train wreck. But before we get on to the fun stuff, let’s tackle a particular gripe first.


Our work, Acute House, is shown and no credit given. Or to be accurate, all credit is removed. No one who watched the show would ever know we had anything to do with it.

In short, intellectual property was stolen from us.

Unfortunately, this sort of thing is not unheard of but what astonished me here was the active effort to suppress our involvement and misrepresent my clients, Mick + Jess’ words. Neither claimed sole credit for the design of their house so why It does it sound like they did? Because the narrator decided that was a more interesting story that's why. So, no mention of an architect anywhere in the show’s segment. Or the show’s credits. Or the show’s website.

My poor clients were so shocked to see their words misrepresented to such an extent, they sent me a long email apologising for their assumption of total design credit - even though they’d never actually assumed it! They had discussed working with me several times during their interview with the Unreal Estate crew but all this was carefully excised to give the impression that Mick + Jess had done it all themselves.


No idea. I keep wondering why you’d bother but it’s beyond me. I don't see it as malicious as it's so pointless. Maybe it's just good old fashioned laziness with a dash of incompetence soaked in a total disrespect for other people's work. Anyone with a better theory, feel free to get in touch - I’m mystified. And pissed off.

We don't expect our name in lights or even large font text. A reasonable representation of what the clients say and a modest thanks in the end credits would do. All this is particularly galling as the show turned out to be a bloated advertorial devoted to spruiking a couple of bling-tastic “designers” from WA (more on this in Pt 2 - coming soon).

We’re a small design office without the resources to make loud noises with lawyers - nor do we have the will to initiate that nastiness. That shit costs more than money. But what we can do is talk.

A lot.

About how sloppy, disrespectful & dishonest this show is. 

About how no architect should allow their work to be the lipstick on this pig.

Addendum: I was notified on Facebook yesterday that there is a page on Acute House here Feel free to read it if you’re not fussed about quality prose. It pretty much completes the full abuse of everyone’s intellectual property rights. The beautiful colour photos used to decorate their blurb is incorrectly credited to Unreal Estate when they are actually by photographer Nic Granleese. And homeowner, Jessica Payne is incorrectly listed as Jessica Kayne. Lazy work Natalie Cornish. See? It doesn't take much to find out who's work it is. And, by the way, the other homeowners’ name is Mick Briese not Mick Brieses as listed in the show's end credits.