AOD ignites SL-Netherland  partnership with design

Monday, 7 April 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

At an exhilarating evening last Friday, Sri Lanka’s most dynamic design campus AOD proved ‘design’ as an effective ambassador of international friendships. The FUSE IT – international design collaboration, which highlights the island’s 400-year-old relationship with the Netherlands, was brought into life at the Dutch-Burgher Union Colombo through a dazzling display of fashion and designer products, led by the embassy of Netherlands in SL together with AOD. FUSE IT design collaboration had a young design graduate from the world renowned Eindhoven Design Academy flown down to Sri Lanka by the Embassy to work in partnership with AOD’s design graduates. This multicultural collaboration resulted in a range of outstanding fashion and designer products. They reflected a fusion of Sri Lankan culture with that of the Netherlands through an interesting mixture of iconic Dutch motifs with Sri Lankan crafts. The collection by Nithya Lamahewa of AOD reinterpreted the world-famous art by the Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh in Sri Lankan handloom while AOD’s Prabath Samarasooriya created an enchanting range of batiks inspired by the Delft ceramic prints of the Netherlands. AOD graduate Sheshadri Nithyanandan also contributed to the project with a youthful collection of screen-printed Dutch motifs. The Dutch designer Katja Van Heughten worked with a community of female artisans from Mullaitivu-Mallavi to create a knitwear collection inspired by Dutch fishermen sweaters. Speaking on her collection, she said: “Besides being highly functional, these sweaters carry a symbolic value. The fishermen’s wives created patterns which were to protect their men from bad luck in the sea and I’ve worked with the Sri Lankan knitting community to create them in Mullaitivu.” Another AOD designer, Pradeep Kumar created a vibrantly patterned batik collection of menswear while Nethmi Muramudalige recreated abstract shapes of Dutch windmills in Dumbara handloom techniques. The other AOD designers involved were Lonali Rodrigo and Malka Pieris whose work were vibrant upcycled fashion and Mondrian inspired batiks respectively. AOD’s Principal British designer Karen MacLeod said that AOD, with its vast networks in international design education, constantly encourages its students and graduates to work in global collaborations such as FUSE IT. “We believe that collaborating and stepping beyond traditional boundaries play a huge role in young designers’ growth – this is because we live in an era of globalisation where designing within your everyday scope is no longer the highest potential a designer can reach. As a campus that encourages its students to go beyond and reach for the stars, international collaborations such as FUSE IT and the opportunities to work with designers from other cultures and design universities are an important part of the wholesome academic culture we offer.” AOD international design campus delivers this promise for international education with a powerful partnership with Northumbria University UK that delivers 100% internal, complete design degrees for its students. For further information, contact AOD on 011 586 7772/3, or log in to and