Damien Follone: Crafting Stories Through Design

June 7, 2024

Damien Follone

Damien Follone, Senior Designer at Wimberly Interiors London, is an acclaimed interior architect known for his dynamic and immersive designs in the hospitality industry. Originally from Australia, Damien’s work has earned him recognition as one of Space magazine’s rising stars in 2020. His unique approach to interior design is deeply rooted in his personal experiences and a profound passion for storytelling.

Listen to Damien talk about his career journey and design ethos below.

Career and Philosophy

Career Journey

Damien’s journey into the world of interior architecture began with a solid educational foundation in Sydney, where he completed a master’s degree in architecture. “My career has evolved since I graduated,” he says. Initially focused on broader architectural projects, Damien discovered his true calling lay in interior design, particularly for restaurants and bars.

In 2010, Damien moved to London, a decision that marked a significant turning point in his career. “I quickly realized I was more excited by small-scale details and the human experience,” he explains. This shift led him to specialize in creating vibrant, story-driven spaces that captivate and engage.

Design Philosophy

Damien’s design philosophy revolves around creating holistic hospitality experiences. As he puts it, “Holistic hospitality experiences are built on personalities and stories, particularly in the entertainment environment, which is all about energy and human interaction.” For Damien, design is not just about aesthetics but about crafting spaces that tell a story and evoke emotions.


Influence of Family and Childhood

Damien’s passion for storytelling in design is deeply influenced by his childhood memories. Growing up in a close-knit Italian family, he recalls the annual sauce-making day as a cherished tradition. “When you’re growing up and having your annual sauce day, you think nothing of it,” he says, reflecting on how these early experiences have shaped his design sensibilities.

These family traditions instilled in Damien a love for storytelling and a keen understanding of how spaces can evoke nostalgia and emotional connections. “I like to play on that idea of nostalgia,” he says, aiming to create environments that transport people to different times and places.

Approach to Design

In his design work, Damien places a strong emphasis on using natural materials with rich textures. “I probably lose my marbles over marbles,” he jokes, highlighting his preference for materials like timber and marble that bring a sense of authenticity and warmth to a space.

Balancing tradition with modernity is another key aspect of Damien’s approach. He believes in celebrating traditional processes and ingredients while presenting them in a contemporary context. This philosophy is evident in his designs, which seamlessly blend timeless elements with modern touches.

Chedi Katara


Watch Damien talk about the design of the Chedi Katara here.

Damien Follone

Future Aspirations

Future Aspirations and Reflections

Looking ahead, Damien has ambitious goals for both his personal and professional growth. He aspires to lead his own studio within the WATG umbrella or independently, where he can continue to explore new ideas and mentor emerging designers.

Travel remains a significant source of inspiration for Damien. “My fun is exploring,” he says, expressing his desire to discover new cultures and gain fresh perspectives. This constant quest for knowledge and new experiences drives his passion for design and storytelling.

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