UT’s Very Own ‘Design Star’ Makes TV Debut Tonight

Tonight, one of UT’s own will take his interior design talents to the national stage.

UT alum and Austin resident Kris Swift, BS ’00, BA ’00, MA ’03, is one of 12 finalists who will compete to become HGTV’s Design Star when the show starts its seventh season tonight.

Searching for the nation’s most innovative interior designers, Design Star challenges contestants to creative individual and group tasks each week. Up for grabs: their very own HGTV show, and judges Genevieve Gorder, Candice Olson, and Vern Yip definitely make them work for it.

“The hardest part was definitely working within the time and money restraints given,” Swift says. “It’s just not realistic to finish a project in under 24 hours and 200 bucks.”

Originally from Ontario, Canada, Swift obtained bachelor’s degrees in radio-television-film and theater and dance during his time on the Forty Acres. A man of many passions, Swift found his niche in a master’s program focused on convergent media, which allowed him to study in six or seven departments all over campus.

“I love working in groups, and I’m always open to collaborations,” Swift says. “That’s just the nature of this business.”

To indulge his love of design, Swift served as technical producer of UT’s fashion show in 2002, where he was responsible for everything from lighting to music and set design.

After he received his master’s from UT, Swift opened his own design business, Future Design Now, in the Austin area. Inspired by his motto, “risk equals reward,” he’s put his ingenuity to work on the aesthetics of The Shore Condominiums downtown and the Nice Kicks! retail store on the Drag.

Rivaling his love of interior design is his love of UT, which Swift pinpoints as the epicenter of his success. In his free time, Swift gives back to his alma mater by volunteering at UT Elementary School.

“UT is what has challenged me to change the way I think,” Swift says. “I wholeheartedly support the University, and I hope that I can make the Longhorn nation proud of me.”

See Swift go toe-to-toe with 11 other Design Star hopefuls tonight at 8 p.m. on HGTV.

Kris Swift. Photo courtesy HGTV.


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