Our faculty is a great mix of international and local pros who have had their say in the creative industries, and are now sharing a wealth of experience with AOD students.
Core International Faculty
Designer Karen Macleod moved to Colombo to take over as principal of AOD in Colombo with the vision to make it the No 1 design school in South Asia. Karen graduated from the Northumbria University with a first class in Fashion and Textiles. Her 25 year experience in international fashion stretches across world-class brands like Max Mara (Italy), Daniel Hechter (France), Hemisphere (Japan) and many more. Karen’s work in her own company – the designer brand ‘Mr. & Mrs. MacLeod’ together with her husband (Fashion Designer – Stuart MacLeod), which focused on luxury sportswear involved a great number of prestigious international retailers; Barney’s (New York), Joseph (London), Biffi (Milan), Belinda (Sydney) and Theresa (Munich).
Director Academic Affairs
Joel Rapp has been involved in Sri Lankan design for over a decade, working on education, craft and rural livelihood projects in addition to starting the Interior design degree program at AOD. He returns as Director of Academic Affairs after completing two years of design research work in central Asia. Through his thirty year career as a designer Mr. Rapp has worked in twenty seven countries on four continents. He has worked as the Regional Design Director for resort giant Club Mediterranee working on public space projects and installations around the globe. At the turn of the century Mr. Rapp returned to his native United States, settling in New York and becoming Design and Fabrication Director at The Displayers, Inc. where he worked on projects for clients ad diverse as The New York Historical Society, the NYPD, Maharam, and the Catholic Church. 2004 saw the opening of 315squared Design, Mr. Rapp's private studio which produced residential design and furnishings for high-end clients in the US and Europe. He is the Author of "The Long walk Home: A Guide To Pedestrian circumnavigation" due to be published in June 2018.
Senior Lecturer, Visual communication design and motion graphics and animation design.
During the several years of a successful career as a creative director in Toronto’s multi – faceted creative studio Parishil, Alain Parizeau found a way to put his ideas into practice with fellow artist and business partner Adam Hilborn. The studio handled many commercial projects as well as several successful art and design shows that made it a popular design studio in Canada. During this success, Parizeau was invited to teach graphic design at the George Brown School of Design in Toronto and for several guest lectures at the Ontario School of Art and Design.Since then, Parizeau has moved across the world and joined the Northumbria degree teaching faculty at AOD International Campus where he hopes to enrich young minds with his knowledge and expertise in the field of Graphic Design, Typography, Illustration and Advertising.
Senior Lecturer in fashion and textile design.
Stuart MacLeod is a British Fashion designer who has over 25 years of experience in international fashion. Macleod studied Fashion at the Northumbria University and started his career as a design director for Daniel Hechter- Paris, followed by a career as an international design consultant and went on to develop his own successful fashion label. Along with his global vision of design, Stuart hopes to bring together his sound experience on design, his love for artisanal workmanship and familiarity with the industrial techniques to place the AOD’s fashion design students at the forefront in global fashion.
Programme leader, Fashion design and marketing.
Originally from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, Amy graduated from Northumbria’s Fashion Design & Marketing degree programme with First Class Honours and was awarded the Strategic Marketing Award at Graduate Fashion Week for her Final Major Project. After graduating she worked in the industry in London for 7 years, with extensive experience in design consultancy, CAD, graphic design, print design, menswear and trend. Having worked for large corporations including Burberry and River Island, she hopes to educate students on how to design with the end consumer in mind and prepare them for a successful career in the fashion industry both within Sri Lanka and beyond.
Programme leader, Lecturer fashion and textile design, M.A. Degree in fashion footwear design.
Joanne studied a BA in Fashion Design at Northumbria University, Newcastle where she specialised in womenswear and textiles. After several years of working as a Textile and Graphic Designer, she then went on to create her own brand of bespoke contemporary shoes and bags, after undertaking a Masters in Footwear at the renowned Cordwainers College, London College of Fashion. She was spotted at Graduation by Jimmy Choo who provided mentoring in the establishment of her own eponymous brand. Her design aesthetic includes a variety of textile, print and embellished focused shoes & bags which are contemporary infusing vintage with conceptual trends, which are regularly featured in prestigious magazines such as Vogue and Elle. Her collections have been shown at London Fashion Week for several years and she has worked with numerous Fashion Designers and Brands from Matthew Williamson, 7 for all Mankind, Twenty8Twelve and Dune. Her designs have been retailed in department stores in London and boutiques around the world including Selfridges, Topshop and have along the way picked up many awards including the highly prestigious Vogue Talents Award.
Programme leader, Visual communication design.
She has a graphic design degree from the prestigious York University / Sheridan College Joint program in Design. She has worked in a variety of environments within the design industry, from marketing firms, to the fast-paced newsroom of Toronto’s biggest daily newspaper, The Toronto Star, to her own home studio. Her varied experiences give her across the board insight into the workings and applications of design, which she uses to prepare students at AOD for a successful entry into this dynamic field.
Programme Leader, Motion Graphics & Animation Design
M.S. (Computer Science – Computer Graphics) – The University of Texas at Arlington, Diploma (Hons) in 3D Animation and VFX – Vancouver Film School, Member of ACM – SIGGRAPH, The National Scholars Honour Society (USA), Upsilon Pi Epsilon (Honour Society for excellence in Computing and Information Sciences), The Animation Society of India, ASIFA and the International Stereoscopic Union and Certified by FxPhd in Film Direction and Stereoscopy. Anandh is a successful animation filmmaker with his work screened at International Film Festivals in USA, Canada, Brazil, South Africa, Greece, Russia & India, and has won several awards at the national and international levels. He has worked in around fifty films in various languages in animation, VFX and stereo departments and mentored multiple award-winning short films. Anandh has also published three international papers in stereoscopy, animation and is an active creator of online learning content. He was selected as the winner of the Bharat Excellence Award for contributions to education as well as the Duke of Edinburgh International Standard for Young People. Anandh is leading the animation education at AOD with over eight years teaching experience in animation and VFX.
Programme leader, Interior Design, M.A. Degree in environmental management and sustainable development, Tongji University Institute for Education in Sustainable Development (IESD). After studying Interior Design at IED Barcelona, Ismael was awarded a scholarship to study at the SVA in New York. After graduation he moved to Middle East for few years to work as an Interior designer and afterwards he moved to Shanghai where he got his UNEP. IESD-Tongji Masters degree and did his research for urban sustainability in UN-Habitat in Myanmar. In China he he completed successful projects such as Bentley Cars Design Exhibition at Sinan Mansions, Spa Design for Luxury Collection 5*Hotel, Various Holiday Inn hotels, coworking spaces, private villas, restaurants etc. He has been published in books such 100 Design portfolio, Beyond Black books, Fifteen of Fifty, ISCES Scientific journal, etc.
Programme leader, Design foundation
Having studied at Edinburgh University with a degree in Textile Design, Kat moved to London where she worked for companies with a focus on sustainable design and practices. Her passion for this subject brought her from London to Sri Lanka where she worked for three years as the Programme Leader for Fashion at AOD and went on to work as a commercial textile designer, designing for a range of large UK based companies. Kat is currently the Head of Design Foundation, where she will be teaching the students the design fundamentals for them to successfully progress into all of the degree programmes provided by Northumbria University.
Dr. Asoka de Zoysa, M.A. in Indology and germanistics at the Freie Universität, Berlin, Germany), Lecturer in Historical and Contextual Referencing/Critical Studies. Born in Colombo, de Zoysa has lived in Berlin, Germany (1983-97) where he did his Master’s Degree in Indology (Sanskrit and Art History of India) and Germanistics (German Culture and Literature) at the Freie Universität Berlin engaged in a philological analysis of Kalidasas Sanskrit plays and Court poetry into German. His Doctoral Dissertation submitted deals with India as seen in the German theatre in the times of Goethe. Since his return to Sri Lanka, he has been attached to the faculty of the University of Kelaniya and AOD while being actively involved in the progression of Sri Lankan art, dance and theatre. Dr.de Zoysa is one of AOD’s most senior faculty members who has and continues to enrich young designers with his extensive knowledge on art history.
Anupama Nawalage, Lecturer in contextual studies, referencing and dissertation practice in design. Anupama was a shining star at the University of Moratuwa obtaining the highest GPA for 2006/7 graduates before she followed her post-graduate studies at the University of Colombo. Her creative work won local and international attention through her fashion label 90F bringing together traditional Dumbara weaving and contemporary silhouettes. Anuapam is now part of AOD faculty through her expertise in contextual studies in design, dissertation preparation and referencing in design.
Shilanthi Abayagunawardana, Lecturer in design research in textile.
Shilanthi is a skilled designer with over thirty years’ experience in designing fabrics for interiors and commercial purposes. Shilanthi studied design at the Ontario College of Arts in Canada and was awarded the Ontario College of Arts Textile Design Award in 1983. In recognition of her exceptional work in textile design, she was also offered Lily Maley Scholarship and Banff Arts Centre Scholarship. After returning to Sri Lanka, Shilanthi used her expertise in textile design to work with University of Moratuwa and pioneering fabric studios in the island such as Barefoot and Jewel Knits. Shilanthi teaches young fashion designers at AOD, to create exquisite and innovative textiles using traditional and modern inspirations.
Shyamal Muthumudalige, Lecturer in professional studies, Interior design professional practice. After completing qualifying examinations at the Colombo School of Architecture, Shyamal went on to complete his degree education in Australia. Shyamal completed a Bachelor in Architecture and Bachelor in Design at the RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. Shyamal’s professional expertise counts over 6 years in Australia and over 12 years in Sri Lanka. Shyamal is also a member of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects. Shyamal trains AOD’s interior design students to become professionals in design, client relations and practice, ensuring that they are fully qualified to commence work in the global industry.
Joe Lenora, Lecturer in computer application in art and design for graphics.
Lenora is one of Sri Lanka’s most experienced web and digital media designers. As the CEO and Head of Creative at one of the country’s pioneering media houses; We Are Designers, Joe is well rehearsed in digital media design and application. Joe uses his expertise in macromedia to train AOD’s graphic design students in several digital languages such as Adobe Illustrator /Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Flash, Swift, Sonic Foundry Web Suite and more.
Damayanthi Wedage, Lecturer in technical, CAM, and processes in fashion.
Damayanthi earned her formal education in Pattern making and grading at the Clothing Industry Training Institute. Damayanthi shared her experience at the University of Sri Jayawardenepura and National institute of Education (N I E) and at Technology transfer Programmes in Scientific Dress Making organized by IDB, NHA and Japan international co-operation Agency (J.I.C.A). Damayanthi has also been part of the National Industrial training Advisory Committee. She teaches AOD’s fashion students Techniques and Processes in Fashion helping them to better understand the technical constructions in fashion and textiles.
Prabath Samarasooriya, Lecturer in fashion illustration, textiles and CAD.
In addition to his 1st upper class in fashion design from Northumbria, Prabath also holds a diploma in jewellery design (Institute of gem and jewellery) and a certificate in CAD in jewellery design along with 3 years academic training in fine arts. After being nominated for several design awards and participating in several top fashion shows (Colombo fashion week/ Sri Lanka design festival/ Pret/ Hyderabad fashion week/ Jaipur Fashion week) Prabath has become a well-respected designer in Sri Lanka. He is also a professional illustrator, Set designer/costume designer for theatre and textile designer.
Chani Perera, Associate lecturer in graphic design.
Chani Perera is a first class graduate of the BA (Hons) Graphic Design degree at AOD’s Northumbria University UK degree. Chani continued her trail of excellence as she stepped into the advertising industry through Leo Burnett Colombo, where she used her education to create illustration and graphic design for advertising. After winning Young Leos 2012 Sri Lanka, Chani represented Leo Burnett at Goafest India. In 2013, Chani represented the country for the Young Spikes competition of Spikes Asia Singapore where she won the first ever gold for Sri Lanka. In the same year, she was part of the Leo Burnett team that won two bronze awards at Adfest in Thailand. Chani is now part of AOD’s contributing faculty to share her valuable experience and knowledge with the younger students of her alma mater.
Darren Vazirani, Lecturer in technical software and visual presentation. Darren is a 3D visualization expert who is the technical lead and chief designer at CinDesign; a locally based design studio serving the European market. Here, he runs a visualisation team that produces design assistive and end presentation material for architects and designers, both locally and abroad. As a lecturer at Northumbria/AOD Darren teaches various visualisation software, including 3D Max, AutoCAD 3D, industry standard rendering engines and 2D post processing and layout software such as Photoshop, Illustrator and In Design.
Silje Nilsen, M.F.A. Design and technology, Lecturer in motion graphics and animation Design. Silje has worked in the MGA field since 2005, doing animation and other 3D work for a great variety of commercials, broadcast productions and movies in New York and Oslo. For the last 4 years, she has been working as the Art Director at Dawn Patrol Games in Colombo, releasing mobile games for the worldwide market. Silje is passionate about using motion to promote storytelling and user experience.