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Lesson of the Week: Luxury is Personal

Sunday, September 29, 2019

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The highly-anticipated anchor event of Design Week — the Design Week seminar — took place last Wednesday, at the Worthington, Spanish Court Hotel. Since its inception three years ago, Design Week JA has become a marquee event for the design and construction industries. This year's seminar saw Design Week conceptualiser Novia McDonald-Whyte bring together a group of industry professionals and leaders to speak about various topics that impact the design industry.

Despite the fact that the topics discussed ranged from home security to colour theory, each presenter related to a topic that, unbeknownst to them, connected their presentations: the notion that luxury is personal. Depending on socio-economic factors, taste level or experience, luxury is personally defined, and where it means a Kingston 6 bungalow for some, for others it may mean not having to live at home and sharing a residence with roommates.

National Commercial Bank (NCB) Mortgage Unit Team Lead Sandra Lyn shared useful tips that would make the path to homeownership a reality for first-time buyers. Lyn mentioned a variety of loans available through NCB that can see first-time buyers accessing 100% financing. National Housing Trust Corporate & Public Affairs Manager Dwayne Berbick, too, discussed, in an information-rich presentation, Bridging the Gap: Creating Opportunities for Homeownership. Berbick shared with the audience several innovative programmes that the NHT has, such as the Employer Assistance Workplace Programme, in which, depending on the size of a company, an employer can partner with the NHT to build housing solutions for its staff members.

The Design Week JA 2019 seminar once again was honoured to have Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke as guest speaker. Last year SO gave him the nomenclature Fashion Minister as, not only did he reference Michael Kors' acquisition of Versace, but he also showed a deep understanding of the impact that the fashion industry has on commerce and culture. This year he again mentioned Versace, and the fact that JLo's now iconic green Grammy dress was responsible for the birth of Google Images. “When you create a design industry, you never know where that will lead,” said the minister.

Registered architect Mala Morrison, through referencing “the good, the bad, and the process”, taught the audience why design matters. KingAlarm Managing Director John Azar delivered an extraordinarily engaging and at times humorous presentation, entitled “Interiors, Exteriors and Security”. Fun fact: did you know that a panic room should be window-free, have a landline and be able to receive a cellular signal?

Interior designer, property manager and contractor Eroleen Anderson-Powell spoke about colour theory and the science behind interior design. Closing the panel of speakers was attorney-at-law Annaliesa Lindsay, who empowered renters to know their rights with “Tenants, Beware: No Buyer's Remorse;” and homeowners to comprehend the science behind home ownership.

The Design Week JA 2019 Seminar offered the 200-plus guests in attendance more than food for thought.

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