Meet Paula Fay Evans, an Associate at Godwin Austen Johnson. Qualified in the UK and with over 12 years of experience covering varied design disciplines, Paula joined GAJ in 2015 and is a key member of the Interior Design team. Her attention to detail and meticulous organisational skills ensure that projects are run efficiently, on time and on budget.
We sat down with Paula to learn more about her career and what she loves the most about her job.
Q. Tell us about yourself and your journey to becoming an interior designer?
A. I come from a small village in North Wales and growing up I was always interested in arts and crafts and in my early teens that hobby turned into interior decorating and customising furniture. I would save all my earnings from working at the local cafe to visit this one small interior shop in the nearest town to buy little trinkets to add to my room. In 2002 my hobby turned into a profession when I moved to England to study for a BA in Interior Design and started my professional career in 2006 as an interior design intern back in my local town. Since then I have had the opportunity to work in many different design fields broadening my interest in design. I moved to Dubai in 2010 with my husband who has played a huge part in my career to date, selflessly following me without question to pursue my childhood dream of a job in design and I have to thank him for that.
Q. What are the challenges for a female interior designer in Dubai?
A. I wouldn’t say that as a female we face any particular challenges in Dubai. It is a heavily female lead profession and I think that if you are a strong-willed women in the industry who is passionate about design and willing to defend a design you find that you get the respect you deserve.
Q. What changes would you like to see in your industry?
A. I am sure that it is not the case everywhere but I would like to see the use of more sustainable materials. There are so many cost effective ways to create an impactful design using recyclable / renewable materials but it doesn’t seem to have become a big enough trend in the market to make an impact here yet.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. Any designer will tell you that there are many frustrations during the design process but all that is forgotten when you see your design come to life; when that spark of an idea you had sat in a design studio trawling through samples and countless hours of sketching becomes a part of something that everyone around you can experience too. The design community in Dubai is really focused on networking events and exhibitions which is great to be a part of; keeping you up to date with the latest trends in the industry and meeting designers from different fields to share experiences makes Dubai a great design hub.