AOD Faculty

FASHION TEXTILE & DESIGN, FASHION DESIGN & MARKETING DEPARTMENT

Thomass Atkinson

 Professor Thomass Atkinson, Director Academic Affairs lead AOD Fashion & Textile department. Previously Head of School Fashion at the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) in Rochester and Epsom, Prof. Thomass graduated from St Martins School of Art, London with a BA (Hons) Fashion/Textiles, before pursuing an MA Design Degree in Fashion from the Royal College of Art, London.This was followed by a successful tenure in the fashion industry as a menswear and womenswear designer in both Italy and the UK, working closely on an number of projects for some of the world’s most recognised designer labels -the likes of Luciano Soprani, Giorgio Armani, Bernard Wetherill Ltd (Savile Row), and Laura Ashley-, before embarking on a career in higher education.

 

 

 Sally Craig Lyon

Sally is a Fashion Design graduate of Northumbria University where she further graduated in Management and Education. After years working as a designer, Fashion Centre Manager and Lecturer, she moved to The Netherlands and set up her own Interior Design company in 2007,renovating homes in and around Amsterdam and lecturing part time at the Amsterdam Fashion Academy in Fashion Marketing/Business and Styling. She returned to the UK in 2020 mid pandemic to renovate a property which she now lives in after 23 years abroad. She is passionate about all things design related, and believes that our future wealth as humans, lies in the health of our planet and how we interact with it, and that it is our duty to design responsibly, while preserving craft and inherited skills where possible. She has worked as a designer of womenswear, menswear, interiors, theatrical costume as well as lecturing at various colleges and universities.

 

Shilanthi Abayagunawardane

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.

 

Prabath Samarasooriya 

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.

 

 

 

Joanne Stocker 

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.

 

Damayanthi Wedage 

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.

 

 

Ludmila Bopitiya

As a Fashion & Marketing Consultant, Ludmila comes with a decade of experience, in the apparel industry.
Her proficiency in design and fashion education alongside her expertise in teaching and coaching has put her, at the forefront of training and development as a well-reputed Professional Branding Coach. As a Nationally Certified Human Resources Trainer, her mastery is in developing Personal Brands of individuals in the corporate sector.

 

GRAPHICS & VISUAL COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENT

 

Samantha Weerawardane

Sam is a tutor, illustrator and graphic designer. Sam has donned a variety of occupational hats throughout her life and worn them well, from a long-running career as a creative writer/copywriter to her self-professed favourite post as a radio personality on TNL, where she presented an alternative music show once a week for 13 years up until 2019. She graduated with a BA (Hons) Graphic Design from Northumbria Univeristy and is currently reading a Master of Arts at Falmouth University. 

 

 

 

 

Chani Perera

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. Alongside tutoring for the visual communication department she is currently following her Masters in Design Innovation and running her own Design Studio Riot House. 

 

Russel Miranda

Art Based Creative Consultant at DentsuGrant Group, wannabe cartoonist, amateur photographer, insomniac, and designer currently masquerading as a strategically driven creative director with over 20 years of experience since majoring in graphic design from JJ School of Art in Mumbai, India. Helped launch and brand-build the national airline, a global coffee brand, sausages, beer, jewellery, bathware, banking, telecom and social projects for Poppy Day, UNICEF, and Women in Need, to name a few. Worked in McCann Offices in Bangkok, Spain and New York. Awarded locally, internationally and still counting.

 

MOTION GRAPHICS AND ANIMATION DESIGN DEPARTMENT

 

Kanishka Muthuthanthri

Kanishka has extensive professional and educational skills in computer animation, traditional animation, storyboarding, concept art including character, environment and prop design. He has a history of working in the Animation industry for over 15 years.

 

 

 

 

 

Poornima Meegammana 

Poornima has graduated with a BA( Hons) Motion Graphics and Animation from Northumbria University UK and has an Advance Diploma in Film Production from YES Film School.  Poornima is an Educator, Animator, Filmmaker and social entrepreneur, who was listed in Forbes 30 under 30 - Asia - Social Impact list this year, she is currently working as the creative director for Inzperia International and director of youth development for Shilpa Sayura Foundation.She is also an Adobe creativity scholar and Epic games - Unreal Engine Virtual Production Fellow. She has made several empathy-driven short films about social issues with topics ranging from child Soldiers, cyber Harassment, gender equality, environment etc. Her social development work focuses on increasing women's participation in emerging technology careers with Nextgen Girls in Technology initiative. Her Creative and development work has been recognised with several international awards, including Forbs 30 Under 30, Internet society 25 under 25 awards, Adobe Aspire Award, UNESCO Prize for Girls and Women’s Education, Microsoft Youth Solutions Award and featured on BBC News under "Women making Technology work for them". She is working towards empowering youth with inspiration, knowledge, skills and leadership to face 21st-century challenges through social innovations and media powered by cutting-edge technology.

 

 

Cyrus Viccaji

Cyrus Viccaji is a media consultant, content creator and educator with a background in Improvisational comedy, filmmaking and photography. In all his work, he has explored his passion for shooting and editing hands-on whenever possible.
He graduated from the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, focusing on Design, filmmaking and photography and went on to work for Pakistan’s first English Language news channel where produced a number of documentaries including a 13 episode feature on Art and Culture. His current portfolio includes a number of local and multinational clients like British Council Pakistan, and Adam Smith International, for whom he has worked as a specialist in communications media for Education in Punjab and Khyber Pakhthunkhwa. He is a registered Media Consultant with Karachi Press Club.

 

 INTERIOR DESIGN DEPARTMENT

Joel Rapp 

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. 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 315 squared 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

 

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.

 

 

Chathuri Kannangara

Chathuri graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor's of Arts in Interior Architecture Design from the renowned Northumbria University. She leads a successful career at DDN design – one of Sri Lanka’s top interior design firms which is directed by the renowned Interior Designer and Architect Dipika Dharmadasa.

 

 

 

Vydarshini Chandrarajan

Vydarshini is a first class graduate of the BA (Hons) Interior Design degree programme from Northumbria University, UK. Prior to this, as an undergraduate,she obtained a world prize for legal studies, which was awarded by Pearson. 
She is the Co-founder and Creative Lead of Designfocal; a design and visualisation studio specialising in residential and hospitality design. She was also the co-author of an article focusing on globalization and regional identity that was published in the inaugural issue of the Sri Lanka Design Journal. Her work extends to include teaching the fundamentals of art and design as a fine arts educator and her areas of expertise lie in mixed media drawing and illustrations for spatial design, conceptual and experiential design exploration relating to spatial design methodologies and critical and contextual studies.

 

MENTORS

Karen Macleod 

Designer Karen Macleod first 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. Now, she is a mentor to our current students as well as our graduates. 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). 

Douglas MacLennan

Douglas has worked in the world of fashion and fashion education for forty-nine years, the first three years, exclusively in Hong Kong in the world of fashion knitwear. He started his teaching career in 1972 at his old alma mater St. Martin and moved on to  Northumbria University, where he nurtured future fashion design talent until June 2016 for almost forty-four years. His graduates have progressed to companies such as Nike, Adidas, Gap, Ralph Lauren/Polo, Louis Vuitton, Abercrombie & Fitch, Calvin Klein to name but a few, or to become successful designers in their own right. Over the past thirty-eight years he has externally examined at over 35 centres of Higher Education in the UK, Spain, India and Greece. Since stepping down from full time work in 2016 his expertise has been sought in Singapore, China, India, Malaysia, Vietnam and Sri Lanka alongside his work as an Academic Trustee for the re-named charity Graduate Fashion Foundation