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From DIY, Decor To Interior Design

Interview with interior designer Dimanthi Undugoda

From her childhood, Dimanthi was very keen to express herself creatively. She channelled this through DIY projects to make cards, decor items for Vesak and Christmas, school booklets etc. But this was just scratching the surface of her potential, she knew. With time, the interest to explore and experience what’s around herself created the path for her future as an interior designer. “Even as a young child I appreciated the beauty of buildings. My parents gave me freedom to turn this into active creative work, letting me do my room the way I wanted and always asked my opinion whenever we were to purchase furniture or paint, which made me want to create more inspiring spaces as I grew up. I joined AOD to complete my degree in interior design.”

Dimanthi designed and conceptualised ‘Innova Yatra’, as a hypothetical science discovery center for school going children which acts as a learning hub as well as a museum to bring out the fun factor of science. “The purpose of this project was to show how we need better facilities in the field of science and technology in order to make the subject interesting to learn. It is about actively engaging the children in more hands-on experiments while giving a playful, curious and exciting experience. The main concept was ‘whimsicality” derived from the idea of ‘science is a world full of fantasies’ where I got inspired from the components in the field of science such as, chemical reactions, cells, fractals and etc. This leads to a sub concept of ‘whimsy in bio-mimicry’ to do the interior of the space.”

Dimanthin often finds the creative process in design not only inspiring her, but also challenging her and pushing her boundaries. Even when designing this project, she discovered that it pushed her to think further, craft things meticulously and more importantly, to find joy in different aspects of interior design. “From the beginning to the end it was really challenging but I found the model making phase a bit hard because it had to be really neat and it took a lot of time. But at the same time I enjoyed cutting little pieces to put together to physically show my interior space. What I learned from this was that patience is the key to success and joy! With all the challenges I get to do, I always have dedicated and committed myself to achieve the final result to be successful. Which has helped me to be more ambitious.”

The best thing about being a designer, according to Dimanthi, is to feel everyday differently, with new challenges, problems to solve and projects to get creative with. Also being able to make an impact on many things and bring out a person’s vision into reality, inspires her. “Design to me is being creative with your intelligence. You have to be creative enough to bring out your inner thoughts in a smarter way and as an interior designer that’s how you can create inspiring spaces which are aesthetically attractive and practically functional.”

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