DESIGNING BLIND Is A&E Network′s New Home Makeover Series - With A Twist
Humor and Wonder Ensue With Blind Designer Eric B. and Co-Host Alexandra Hedison Series Premieres Sunday August 6, 2006 at 5:00 pm ET
At first, it′s a case of the blind leading the blind. On DESIGNING BLIND, A&E Network′s new home-makeover-series-with-a-twist, couples who cannot agree on a design direction for their new homes relinquish control to acclaimed designer Eric Brun-Sanglard, known for his breathtaking renovations of prime properties in Los Angeles.
Joining Eric B. (as he is known) in bringing the often-emotional process to television is actress/photographer Alexandra Hedison, who brings her own humorous, insightful and irreverent points of view to the mix of personalities and properties. Added to the precarious but always entertaining process of seeing a space transformed amidst the owners′ reactions to each other′s strong and sometimes opposing tastes - is one additional condition that the homeowners must accept.
Eric B. is blind. Just when it seems that things couldn′t get any more challenging, Alex reveals the news that the couple must assist Eric in his re-design, blind-folded! They will not have use of their own visual sense, which was the safety net they were counting on. As the process unfolds, it becomes apparent that Eric "sees" in completely different ways.
In the course of the makeovers he confronts the others′ issues of fear, trust and control while they learn to draw on the power of their other senses to transform their homes and even their lives. One morning in 1995, Eric woke up blind, the result of CMV retinitus. At the time, he was a creative director for a perfume advertising company. His life, he readily admits, was all about appearances: "I neglected what was going on inside of me." His first uneasy months led to changes that would prove to be his salvation. He began to modify and redesign his own home, then started buying, remodeling and decorating other homes for resale. He soon relied on his remaining senses to evaluate the conditions and energies of the homes by walking through them over and over; feeling every wall, window, cabinet and crevice; listening to sounds and reverberations; experiencing the light of the sun on his face in different rooms at different hours, and noticing any smells that were present or possible to enhance.
With this "inner vision" he learned to determine scale, dimensions, and potential, and to evaluate the individual energy and needs of each client. Even the most skeptical onlookers are awestruck by the makeovers that Eric B. is capable of designing and then executing. They describe how a once cold and dull home became tactile and alive with feeling and yes, color!
Eric uses tools that are helpful assists - talking tape measures, a computer that reads text out loud, and raised Braille-like blueprints. "Not having sight allows me to tap into the energy-flow of the surroundings, to identify blockages that flow and prevent a house from achieving its fullest potential," he says.
Interestingly, as a child, Eric B. was terrified of blind people. He even crossed the street when he saw one. In the years since Eric B. has made peace with his blindness transforming his supposed handicap into an asset. In DESIGNING BLIND, Eric and co-host Hedison will be introduced to homes and their inhabitants, getting involved in the surprisingly intimate process of renovation and remodeling. They will challenge the couple to shop based solely on a sense of touch, sound and smell. It′s an unusual, amusing, and revelatory journey, where one man′s devastating loss leads to evidence of joyous and unexpected transformation.
Alexandra Hedison is primarily an accomplished photographer of abstract landscapes, exhibited in renowned galleries. Her photography has been published in Time, USA Today, The New York Times, People and Newsweek. She is the daughter of actor David Hedison. Her own acting credits have included a recurring role on the Showtime series, The L Word. Other series roles include Fox′s LA Firefighters and ABC′s Prey with Debra Messing.
DESIGNING BLIND premieres Sunday August 6, 2006 at 5:00 pm ET on A&E Network.