Studio ija…What is ija? Well, you would think that my last name, Handanovic, is difficult to pronounce but it turns out that Dijana provokes the most creative alliterations. In particular, the middle part of my name…D(ija)na! So much so, that it became my nickname of sorts. So, I thought- let’s get the hardest part out of my name and create something new! Something thought provoking! Something confusing?
Now, about me…
I was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina and raised in Austria. I moved to Houston in 2001 and have been here ever since. So, where is home? That’s the hardest question to answer- the world is my home.
I learned some English, and a couple of years later, in 2009, graduated Suma Cum Laude with a Bachelors of Liberal Arts and Social Science in Interior Design and in 2015, a Master of Architecture with Honors from the University of Houston. For 2.5 years, I worked at Abel Design Group where I was able to collaborate in interior design and architecture on both commercial and hospitality projects.
Well, I don’t believe that interior architecture and architecture are two different things but that they are symbiotic. I believe design starts with the user and adapts to it, creating a space that is harmonious. A space should be designed with innovation so that it provokes creativity. Creativity that tells a story and provokes a reaction. Pleasure! Awareness! Happiness! Tranquility! Harmony! Freedom!
Oh, as of summer 2018, I have been teaching studio as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Houston College of Architecture and Design…Good Stuff!