ÁINE ATARA - design consultant

Interior architect, Classical Feng Shui expert, pre-design specialist, artist.


ÁINE ATARA (née Mac Dermott) - résume

Áine (AWN-yah) draws out a project's greatest potential. She creates spaces that align design and energy to enhance the lives and relationships of those who live and work within. She is the founder a design consultancy that works with clients at the earliest stage of the design process – the pre-design stage – to establish and communicate the essences and expectations of projects before they begin. She also specialises in “design fixes” and uses Classical Feng Shui (traditional Land Form, Eight Mansions and Flying Stars) to really get results. Clients hire her to advise at all stages of the design process, from the review of concept presentations to the evaluation of the current designs of properties they own. 

Áine’s innovative work occurs at the intersection of consciousness and the built environment. Her expertise as a designer – coupled with innate clairsentience – enable her to read the energy of an environment and those who will use it, then design spaces to support them holistically. She has significant experience on both sides of the design and construction process. She has been a designer and a designer’s client. She has extensive international experience as an interior architect for notable corporate and private clients in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Austria, Germany, and the United Arab Emirates. Áine worked for several prominent architectural and interior design firms in London and built an extensive portfolio of projects designed for an array of high-profile clients including Accenture, BTG plc, Barclays Asset Management and Norwich Union as well as designing for well known hospitality brands Sheraton, and Le Méridien. 

On the strength of her portfolio, she was headhunted to work in the Middle East, where she worked on a collection of deluxe projects in the Emirates. As senior interior designer for United Design International, she designed upscale, luxury residences for the Royal families of Abu Dhabi and Dubai. She was also commissioned to design at the Diwan – the presidential palace – where she designed the office suite for HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the deputy prime minister of the UAE, minister of presidential affairs, and member of the ruling family of Abu Dhabi. Her work in Abu Dhabi met with particular acclaim. As a result, Áine was asked to join Aldar PJSC, a major real estate developer, where she was appointed Head of Design. She saw firsthand that skipping a full intention setting at the earliest stage of a project invariably led to serious financial implications, when trying to make changes and resolve omissions during construction. To round out her unique 360 ̊ view of the building process, Áine trained as a life coach to further enable her holistic understanding of her client’s particular circumstances. To facilitate clarity early on, she developed her own contextual consulting process: pre-design strategy. In part, this means that she works with clients to create Briefing Directives. These documents contain specific sketches and early layout plans, precedent imagery, and site and location information. In addition, they provide full briefing instructions on specific requirements, essential architectural elements, ideal interior design, favoured functionality, optimal layouts, pre-selected finishes and any other client preferences. 

Her spatial photographic memory allows her to remember, in detail, the resonance, arrangement, light, volume, and mood of the spaces she has visited around the world. Her mind is a design reservoir unlike any other, as she has an ability to walk into a space and feel what is missing, what needs to change, what needs to be moved, and ultimately what is calling to be created. Her keen senses are incredibly effective too when viewing the not-yet-built, whether on a green-field site visit or when reviewing design concept presentations. 

Áine studied architectural technology at the Limerick Institute of Technology in Ireland and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Interior Architecture from the University of Brighton, United Kingdom, where she graduated with honours. She is a Registered Interior Designer at BIID, the British Institute of Interior Design. Her life coach training was under the tutelage of Martha Beck, the New York Times best-selling author and columnist for O, The Oprah Magazine. Her Feng Shui training was with a Gold Level school (IFSS) which is a member of the International Feng Shui Guild.

ÁINE ATARA - Artist Statement.

Áine has always been both a designer and artist. Her current obsession with quantum field theory and dimensions has manifested in works collectively called ‘The Matrix Series’.

Having lived abroad for many years, Áine’s return to her native land inspired a second collection; ‘The Ireland Reimagined Series’.

While consistently loyal to beauty and simplicity, Áine also works with a thorough obsession with layers, matrixes, nature and form. This combination is always present in her work, in both art and design. 

Working primarily on watercolour blocks she uses a layering technique, painting first and later adding drawn elements in black and white ink. She also is fascinated with negative space and will often draw in masking fluid first before adding a paint layer.

Perpetually responding to witnessing light in the world, Áine works intuitively to create abstracted compositions that explore surface and depth and our soul’s experience on planet earth. This is evident in her pieces which have been called “simultaneously ethereal and strong”. 

Her artwork is held in private collections in Ireland, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Taiwan, Aruba and Australia.

Outside of the studio and her consultancy practice she can be found taking photos of rocks, shells, plants and sky. She loves many things including yoga, hosting friends from around the world, listening to endless non-fiction on Audible, dancing to electronica and drinking strong pu’erh tea.

For a glimpse into Áine’s body of work and design aesthetic follow her on Instagram. For inquiries, collaborations etc she can be contacted by email here.