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British Council facilitates UK Creative Knowledge Exchange at Sri Lanka Design Festival 2016

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Every year, Sri Lanka Design Festival (SLDF) presents an important knowledge sharing platform that captures the future and new possibilities through the viewpoints of design, creativity and innovation.

Attended by the business world, designers, students, media, and the interested general public, SLDF is a nucleus of new ideas and creative though leadership built on the premise of knowledge interchange between Sri Lanka and the rest of the world. Supporting this, the British Council of Sri Lanka annually partners the event to facilitate the most cutting-edge creative knowledge exchange.

As part of this year’s collaboration, British Council hosted the insightful talk ‘Digital Future: Architecture and Culture in the Modern Age’ by the globally renowned UK architect and engineer Ali Mangera as part of SLDF’s inspiring talk series ‘Design Katha’. British Council’s collaboration also came in as an important contribution to enrich interior design agenda of SLDF 2016 exploring the theme ‘Future Tropical Modernism. 

Keith Davies, British Council’s Country Director for Sri Lanka, stated that the collaboration was an important one to British Council, considering SLDF’s massive role in sharing international creative knowledge, particularly from Britain, with local designers, students and the general public.

“Sri Lanka Design Festival continues to push boundaries in creative and sustainable design and in its entrepreneurial approaches to growing the design Industry in Sri Lanka. British Council is very pleased to continue its long collaboration with the festival which already spans over five years. This year saw exciting new work in fashion, architecture and interior design and the work of new talents from the graduating class of AOD-Northumbria University UK partnership which also goes from strength to strength.”

British Council is dedicated to build bridges of trust and understanding among people around the world and to provide opportunities to hundreds and millions of people worldwide to learn about British creativity. Their support to Sri Lanka Design Festival stems from this very mission which has allowed the partnership to blossom over several years. 

Throughout the previous years, SLDF has partnered with British Council to host several notable British creatives whose knowledge was shared in Sri Lanka to enrich the local creative sphere. This is particularly valued because of UK’s reputation as the world creative hub and one of the most successful countries to use design to enrich its business sector. 

In 2016 too, the collaboration returned for the fifth time bringing in new knowledge from Britain’s leading creative professionals. This year’s talk hosted by British Council – Digital Future: Architecture and Culture in the Modern Age by the UK’s celebrated architect and engineer Ali Mangera at SLDF’s talk series ‘Design Katha’ aimed to contribute to the growing body of interior design knowledge by reaching out to an audience of design students, young educators and general interior enthusiasts. 

Tanya Warnakula, the British Council Sri Lanka Arts Manager, also spoke about the collaboration. “It is always a pleasure to work with the SLDF team and we are very happy to once again be supporting the Sri Lanka Design Festival this year by bringing out Ali Mangera, co-founder of MYYAA Architectural Design Studios.  SLDF continues to go from strength to strength both as a brand, and a leading design platform for the South Asia region.  It is because of SLDF’s relentlessness in pushing the boundaries of Sri Lankan design, and investigating how design as a creative discipline impacts our lives and our living environments, that we felt Ali would be a perfect fit to this year’s festival.”

Sri Lanka Design Festival’s interior design agenda also included its mega interior design exhibition which was freely open to the public with curated spaces and installations at the Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre (SLECC) throughout early November. In addition to British Council, the key partners of the event include Coats Thread – Official Thread and Zip Partner, GT Nexus – Official Technology Partner, HNB Bank – Artisan Empowerment Partner, Mount Lavinia Hotel – Official Host, Wijeya Newspapers – Official Print Media, Just-Style – International Media Partner, Dialog – Official Telecommunications Partner, Papyrus – Official Paper Partner, Anim8 – Official Print Partner, Free Lanka – Official Beverages Partner, Salon Kess and We Are Designers. The event was endorsed by the Joint Apparel Association Forum. For more information and future partnerships reach the SLDF Secretariat at 011 5867772/3 AOD - 29, Lauries Road, Colombo 4.




Midula Gardens takes ‘Future Tropical Modernism’ to new heights at SLDF Interior Design Exhibition 2016


SLDF Interior Design Exhibition with Midula Gardens set the stage tropical trends with live flora for furniture, homeware and lighting design amidst massive participation from architects, designers, hoteliers and media

Providing a much-needed platform dedicated to local interior design, Sri Lanka Design Festival (SLDF) presented a powerful platform for interior design and related industries in Sri Lanka. Partnering SLDF to present this year’s festival theme ‘Future Tropical Modernism’ was Sri Lanka’s trusted retailer of modern curated flora and gardens ‘Midula’. 

With plant life being an important part of SLDF’s 2016 theme ‘Future Tropical Modernism’, Midula made an essential contribution to the event by incorporating lush, living tropical flora into the interiors of Sri Lanka Design Festival. 

This internationally-curated exhibition was launched in November, in the presence of architects, hoteliers, designers, real estate industry leaders, furniture retailers and media and remained freely open to the public. SLDF’s take on ‘Future Tropical Modernism’ which directs inspiration from the works of the likes of Geoffrey Bawa to a new dimension, presented in partnership with ‘Midula’ presented a new living ideal from Sri Lanka. 

SLDF has been hosting its Interior Design Exhibition aiming to raise the bar in local interior design and share the new innovations of the sector. SLDF’s 2016 theme which was presented with the living flora of Midula – ‘Future Tropical Modernism’ paid homage to one of the worldwide trends thought to have been pioneered by Sri Lanka’s master-builder and legendary architect Geoffrey Bawa.  While ‘Tropical Modernism’ is the interior architectural style attributed to Bawa, SLDF 2016 presents how this style evolves into the modern times as an international trend that has a special significance to Sri Lanka. A key characteristic of this style is accommodating Sri Lanka’s balmy climate by blurring the boundaries between indoors and outdoors with rich tropical trees and plant life.  After over a decade since Bawa’s passing, his architectural philosophy came back to life at SLDF with the lush tropical greens of Midula complementing modern furniture, surfaces, interior accessories and technology by participating interior retailers. This way, the event allowed the local interior, homeware and furniture industries, interior architectural professionals and students as well as the interested general public to experience the modern take of one of Sri Lanka’s most treasured creative legacies.

Formed with the idea that your natural surroundings are an important reflection of you, Midula Garden Services was launched in 1984 to deliver professional landscaping solutions. Since then Midula has provided a host of comprehensive landscape designs for a highly satisfied clientele. With complete garden solutions for personal, working, retail and public spaces from exotic foliage plants, to installation of massive root-balled trees as well as garden irrigation systems, lighting, organic fertilisers, garden tools, etc.  Midula has now evolved into one of the most trusted names for natural landscaping. Midula Garden Services is comprised of a team of professionals who come from comprehensive training and a high calibre of expertise.  For Sri Lanka Design Festival 2016, the Midula team collaborated with an international interior production team who worked with Working with a mix of international and local creative production teams and industry innovators like the Balmond Studio, to completely transform the event venue Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre (SLECC) to create an altogether new experience. This collaborative team effort produced an inspiring expression of Future Tropical Modernism to share a new living ideal from Sri Lanka which characterises the spirit of the island within a contemporary context.  SLDF Interior Design Exhibition also brought together Midula Gardens with some of the country’s leading brands in homeware, furniture, colour, furnishing, product design lighting technology, colour, special finishes, porcelain/bathware, homeware, hotelware and fabrics. 

For more information and the 2017 edition of the event, reach the SLDF Secretariat at 011 5867772/3 AOD - 29, Lauries Road, Colombo 4.


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