Celebrating this month specifically dedicated to empowering women who continue to inspire us, we at Chokolaate were more than happy to sit down with a number of wonderful ladies from Raffles Institute of Design in Colombo. These women, who contribute much of their creativity to the world of design, went on to tell us more about their experience at Raffles, and why they believe Interior Design is a truly promising career!
“Interior Design is a functional piece of art and there’s a lot to explore in it. To get started – all you need is an eye for design.”
Nichola Packianathan, Lecturer of Interior Design – Raffles Colombo
Being a past student of Raffles, Nichola has spent a number of years in its walls and was happy to fill us in on her perspective as an Interior Design Lecturer.
Is Interior Design an Art or a Science?
Interior Design is not just an art, but a science as well. It deals with the preferences and emotions of those who are occupying the space, as well as their psychology.
How would a designer evolve with “Modernity” and its technological advancements?
A designer must always be up to date on the current ongoings and preferences of the industry. At Raffles interior design course, this issue is very well tackled as the students are exposed to the importance of sustainability as well as modernity, while the importance of technological ongoings and advancements are well established and grounded into the minds of students who enrol.
Why do you think Raffles is the perfect institute for Interior Design?
It’s the perfect environment! Every student is well catered to and personally attended to when required. There is a wide variety of students enrolled, and this variety exposes students to a number of cultures and all kinds of personalities which, in my opinion, really helps them grow as individuals.
“To overcome any challenge in the design world – all you need is passion”
Anna Mosanghini,- Lecturer of Interior Design – Raffles Colombo
Anna is a full-time lecturer, who specialises in interior design projects. She was more than thrilled to express her thoughts on the world of design!
How has your experience at Raffles been so far?
I’ve been working here for a number of years now, and it’s been really great! The students are very friendly and full of enthusiasm, which makes my job of guiding them a whole lot easier. It’s been a very nice opportunity – you never get bored!
How important Is Individuality in Interior Design?
It’s the most important. It’s alright to have an idol or someone to look up to – but you should always be able to cultivate individuality in your designs. Stay curious and in-the-hunt for new Inspiration, but individuality is a must!
What “X-Factor” do students acquire at Raffles?
There’s so many, to be honest. As a designer, you have to be open to many doors of insight. At Raffles Interior Design, we make sure our students are pushed out of their bubbles and exposed to all kinds of insights that a designer may find useful. This is where the students are able to make mistakes, and learn from them. The interior design courses truly does bring out the “X factor” in whoever it is that enrols here!
“To be a successful designer, you must be an expert at time management!”
Daitha Dharmasena, Lecturer of Interior Design – Raffles Colombo
Having worked at Raffles for over 7 years, this is what Daitha had to say about Interior Design and its key elements.
What’s more important – functionality or appeal?
Definitely both. You must first look at the function that space is required to fulfil. Then only can you use your creativity to build the aesthetic in such a way that it appeals to those who’ll be engaged in that particular environment.
What is a basic skill needed by an Interior Designer?
Creativity. And not just that, you must be focused and methodical in how you use your creativity. It’s always important to meet new forerunners of the industry and be out looking for new inspiration.
How do you think Raffles differs from other design institutes?
In quality, Raffles interior design is by far the best institute to enrol in. The program is well structured and broken down in a way that once the students have finished their course, they will be fully equipped with all the fundamental skills needed to achieve their goals.
“If you have a passion for design, don’t be afraid to pursue it”,
Fatinah Suhail, Student – Raffles Colombo
Fatinah is a third-year student at Raffles, and majors in Interior Design. Her enthusiasm and genuine love towards her art truly inspired us, and is bound to inspire others as well!
What made you join Raffles?
I’ve always been a creative soul. Even from my school days, I’ve always known that I’d enrol in a field that was design related. When I came to Raffles, by its introduction alone I was very much impressed by what they offered, and instantly knew I had to enrol!
How has the experience been so far?
It’s been a wonderful experience. The courses are very interesting, and I find myself diving into my subjects with a great deal of enthusiasm. To be quite honest, I feel more than privileged to be able to follow my passion and develop my design skills at one of the best institutes in the country!
What are your plans for the future?
I’d love to study further, and eventually work as a designer in the bustling city of Singapore! It’s an upcoming city that’s filled with a great amount of potential that’s yet to be explored. Besides, it’s much closer to home – don’t you think?
The dedication, energy and passion that these women showcase towards their art is striking indeed! They continue to show us that once you have a passion for something, you should never be afraid to go after it. So if you believe that design is your’s to pursue – Raffles might be the perfect place for you!
Adapted from Chokolaate Magazine article.
Interview by Nethmi Liyanapathirana. Photos by Kevin Michael