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Bringing the Outside, In.

July 26, 2018 | Campus News

Desmond Ho of Terra Gardens receiving a token of appreciation for his sharing

The One Academy has recently launched its ID Week 2018 and to commemorate the special event which took place in Hall 4, TGV Cinema at Sunway Pyramid, two industry experts were invited to share on some of the themes and workings of the interior design industry. The guests were Desmond Ho of Terra Gardens and Pua Chin Eng from Landart Designs. Both these men have many years of experience in the field of interior design and landscape architecture.

The theme for ID Week this time was ID Inside Out and it focused on emphasising the relationship between interior design and landscape. Nowadays, more and more installations of greenery is seen indoors through vertical gardens, green roofs and more. Although still relatively new, these works of interior design is bringing us one step closer to bridging the gap between the outdoors and indoors.

The guests elaborating about the future of landscaping

Desmond Ho from Terra Garden is the creator of the famous Neo Nusantara, a Malaysian garden concept created with the addition of Malaysian culture in the design and motifs in the elements within it. Hailing from Malacca, he draws inspiration for his work from his childhood memories of growing up in the midst of nature and all its beauty. He emphasizes the full use of nature and the five senses in both interior and landscape design. He states that “if you can stimulate the five senses at the same place and at the same time, that is guaranteed pleasure”. All of Desmond’s designs strive for this by incorporating components into his design that appeal to sound, sight, smell, touch and taste.

The Neo Nusantara concept is hugely popular across the nation and has even made various appearances overseas in Ireland, United Kingdom, Switzerland, France, Australia and New Zealand. In line with Desmond Ho’s vision to create an identity for Malaysian gardens that is as easily recognized as Japanese Zen gardens and Balinese gardens, the designs featured in Neo Nusantara includes lattice designed after kain pelikat, benches inspired by the pangkin and light features modelled after the jantung pisang. He aims to ‘bring indoor comfort right to the parameter of nature’s beauty’.

Pua Chin Eng is the managing director of Landart Design, an international award-winning landscape architecture firm based in Penang and Kuala Lumpur. His firm is well known for their immaculate use of space and also interior landscaping designs. They have worked with many clients from all over the world including Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam and Abu Dhabi. Some of Landart Design’s local projects include [email protected] in Penang, Cybersouth Central Park in Sepang, Azelia Residence in Sri Damansara, the Gurney Roundabout in Penang and Sentral Green in Penang.

Pua Chin Eng, Desmond Ho and Dr. Eric Leong answering questions from students

Eng spoke about the importance of borrowing the view of the landscape from outside of the building to complete the interior design. The example given was an infinity pool set at an elevated level which makes it seem as if it is extending beyond the building and into the forest line beyond it. When someone is relaxing by the pool, they are greeted with a magnificent view of the lush forest just beyond, they are experiencing the great outdoors whilst enjoying the comfort of indoors. He also stated about the importance of replenishing the greenery that was taken down during the building process. “Interior and landscape cannot be separated, it should be one entity”. He also mentioned that as a designer, it is important to extend the drawing line beyond the building. “When you draw your design outside your boundary, you will feel more free flow” he quipped.

Some advice the duo gave the students was to know your craft like the back of your hand. Caring and maintenance for plants, especially indoors, is not easy and this is what puts off most people from bringing greenery into their living spaces. However, “a good interior designer who has adequate knowledge will be able to shift the client’s negative paradigm to positive by highlighting the many benefits that come with it” said Desmond Ho. One is only able to convince others if they possess adequate knowledge on the subject.

“Consumers nowadays do not only want aesthetics, they also want to know the health benefits, the feng shui that come with it” said Eng when asked about meeting client’s needs. Both agreed that the world of interior design and landscape architecture is bright and in order to excel in it, the designers must adapt to the era that they live in. Dr. Eric Leong, the head of the Interior Architecture and Design School at The One Academy, also emphasised on the importance of having passion in your work as that is what leads to success. As times change, functionality and design changes, but regardless designers should be confident in what they do and work with passion, be it in interior, exterior or blurring the lines between both.

The One Academy is committed to providing the best art education programmes and continues to nurture its students passionately through its ‘Masters Train Masters’ coaching philosophy, which has been practised for the past 28 years, by providing diploma and degree courses namely Advertising & Graphic Design, Digital Animation, Digital Media Design, Film Visual Effects, Interior Architecture & Design, Illustration, Fine Arts and ESMOD Fashion Design & Pattern Making. For more information on The One Academy, visit or call +603-5637 5510 or e-mail your enquiries to [email protected].

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