Turkish-born interior designer Dilara Ajun may be considered as a young designer due to her age, but as the head of the interior design department at Dubai-based ATI Consultants Architect Engineers, she has already managed to build an impressive portfolio of completed projects. Most recently, Ajun completed the interior design of four school projects in the UAE, as well as a commercial tower and the architectural designs of two school campuses, which have won international design awards.
Ajun studied at Istanbul Technical University. “It was tough and challenging—and not just because of all the group projects, case studies, coursework and internships. I was studying alongside the selected, the smartest and the most talented students in the country. But this demanding environment gave me the practical and technical training to constantly develop myself and apply my knowledge and creativity successfully in my workplace,” says Ajun.
Working for one of the largest developers in Turkey, her first projects included designing a mixed-use development twin tower, a residential tower, and an office tower, all located in the central business district of Istanbul.
“I was only 22 years old at the time, and it was my first real job. Being able to see these projects from design through to completion was a challenge and I couldn’t have met it without the support of my senior colleagues who mentored me through the process,” she says.
Ajun confesses she had a lot to learn during her first year in the region. “Dubai is home not only to its local culture but a combination of various cultures. From the many countries I have visited, I can easily say that Dubai not only has a unique synthesis of cultures but also is the innovator regionally,” she adds.
Ajun believes that a significant evolution of design trends in the future will revolve around technology and new eco-friendly materials. “Judging from the various product exhibitions I have attended, it seems that greater importance will be put on sustainable and locally available materials together with the use of technology, combining sensory design materials and 3D printing,” she concludes.