Faculty | Guest Speakers | Mentors

Noud Sleumer is a Dutch conceptual  designer whose work explores  global systems of production and processing. As a conceptual  designer, he specializes in the  role of critique ‘the act of making’. Within self-initiated and explorative  projects his focus is trained on  methods of deconstruction and  reduction. Simplicity is the tool that underlies these approaches  and enables Sleumer to create new playgrounds of creativity, in which  we can collectively re-examine our  relationship to man-made matter.  Key to his work is the reversal of  design methodologies in order to  question the essence of making  within a world that is always under  construction. Sleumer holds a Bachelors of Arts from The Academy for Art, Communication and Design (Tilburg – NL) and completed in 2018 a Masters of Social Design at Design Academy Eindhoven (Eindhoven – NL). His academic researches were nominated in the top 10 shortlist of the the Dutch Science Award 2018 – InScience & Klokhuis and his work has been displayed in many design exhibitions and publications

Paulien Strijland After an international career building and leading Experience Design teams at Apple, PayPal, Yahoo, Nokia, and Hewlett Packard, Ms. Strijland now runs Design4Good. A boutique consulting firm solving problems at the intersection of Technology and Design and accelerating innovation with a positive social impact. Clients include: The Brightlands Innovation Factory where she helps entrepreneurs by combining the best of Design Thinking with Lean Startup methodologies. Governmental organizations, where she applies Design methods to societal challenges and advises on the impact of digitization. Last but not least, she contributes to various educational institutions as a member of advisory boards, and guest lecturer. Ms. Strijland holds a BSC and MSC in industrial design from Delft University of Technology, Netherlands.


Bas Hillerstrom studied business and process engineering at the Rotterdam university of applied sciences. In multiple ways, during his travels and while living in the Netherlands, Bas was confronted with global waste - and resource depletion problems. These negative experiences in combination with his love for nature and beautiful landscapes encouraged him to start working in the field of Circular Economy. He is now working for CIRCO and Sustainable Minds. Working for CIRCO as a trainer and Head of Operations in the Netherlands, Bas helps organizations understand the concept of Circular Economy and the way this concept can benefit them both economically and ecologically. With Sustainable Minds, he focuses on the practical implementation of Circular plans and ideas, where the main motto is: dream big, start small. In short: don’t overthink, start experimenting and watch your company gradually become more circular.

Bas Roelofs As a customer and sustainability driven product and service design professional, Bas is a senior business innovator and strategic marketeer with strong international track record. He is a creative and entrepreneurial designer and a builder of product assortments, services and teams. His success has been his ability to identify active and latent customer/stakeholder needs and translate them into strategy and action, with sparkling and measurable results. With more than 20 years of experience in developing sustainable products and services and marketing them Bas sees opportunities where others see problems. He brings together internal and external stakeholders and co creates with a broad network of specialists to and offers training and empowerment to a wide variety of companies to accelerate their transition towards a circular economy. Bas holds a MSc. Industrial  Design Engineering from TU Delft  Netherlands.

Iris Grobben is focused on creating  economies without loss of  human, economic and ecological  value. She currently works as a  consultant on innovation and  implementation of promising  business cases in the new economy. Iris believes in the power  of working together towards an  economy in which consumption is healthy and negative effects  are no longer passed on to the  environment or at the expense of  human well-being. As an advisor  and connector, Iris is interested  in making organizations more  sustainable at a strategic level  and in guiding implementation  processes. Iris has a bachelor’s degree  in Cultural Anthropology and Communication & Information  Sciences from the Free University.  She subsequently obtained her  master’s degree in Business  Administration: Leadership &  Change Management. In 2020 she  was named Sustainable Young  100 and together with a partner  she developed PlanEet: a recipe  platform that gives you inspiration  for an honest, sustainable and  healthy meal.

Diana Criswell is an art historian, trained at Sotheby’s Institute in London, where she received her MA in East Asian Art. Winner of the first XuYuan International Research Prize, her research in Beijing on the revival of traditional woodblock printing brought attention to the trend of patronage and renewed interest in heritage forms of art, often overlooked.

Ms. Criswell’s journey began as a painter in New York, where she started her studies at Parsons School of Design, but was transformed after her involvement as a volunteer at NYC public schools and education programs at the Bronx Museum of Art: bringing the art on the walls to new young audiences. While still in undergrad, she was the co-founder of a non- profit, Making Art Everywhere, bringing art to communities affected by tragedy, war, and natural disaster. She graduated with a BA from The NewSchool. She has a long relationship with Sri Lanka & AOD: as the former programme head of and creator of the 2008-2012 curriculum for AOD’s Foundation programme and the AOD Photography programme. Ms. Criswell is based in New York  City, USA. Her interests include:  baking & cocktail-making,  international art fairs, cello,  typography, interior design, and  social psychology.

 university of the Arts

Linda Speldewinde, founder of  Design Corp Group of companies,  is known for the immense scope  of work she has led in Sri Lanka,  uniting design led innovation with  enterprise & building a unique  ecosystem. Using the power of design, Linda has made a  significant impact on education,  industry, the creative sector, rural  crafts and communities, as well as  social and cultural sustainability.  Design Corp group includes the  design academy (AOD), AOD Grad  School, Startup School, Sri Lanka  Design Festival, Mercedes-Benz  Fashion Week Sri Lanka, fmlk.lk,  Urban Island & most the most  recent launch, the Colombo  Innovation Tower.

She is a recipient of several  awards, including the Women  Leadership Award and Women  in Management. 50 Most  powerful women, Echelon 100  and EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women - Asia Pacific in 2019, the  creative Entrepreneur Award  from British Council with a special commendation by the International  Jury for changing society through  education. Her most recent award  was an honorary doctorate by the  Northumbria University UK, which  acknowledged her reputation as one of Sri Lanka’s leading  entrepreneurs.

Dr. Ranawana is a Co-Founder and the CTO of Tengri UAV, a global provider of UAV technology and applications - a Sri Lanka and Singapore based company. He also co-founded SimCentric Technologies in 2008, and was the company’s Managing Director and CTO until his exit from the company in 2019.

Dr. Ranawana is also a member of  the Board of Management of the  University of Colombo School of  Computing and is a Clarendon  Scholar with a Doctorate in Artificial Intelligence from the  University of Oxford and holds a 1st  Class Degree in Computer Science  from the University of Peradeniya.  He also has over 15 peer-reviewed  international publications on  Artificial intelligence and Machine  Learning.


Douglas MacLennan 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.

 Josh Plough (UK/PL) is a writer, artist-editor and curator. His areas of intrigue include the sordid world of design, its curation and evaluation, and the webs of folklore, identity and futures. He received his MA in Design Curating and Writing from the Design Academy Eindhoven, and cut his teeth at Onomatopee Projects; where he worked for three years as an editor and city curator. The latter being a job title that allowed him to open up the artistic and design practice of the white cube and introduce it into city hall, district council meetings, local protest groups and archives.

Currently based in Warsaw, Josh has founded the cultural NGO and bookshop Ziemniaki i. The aim of which is to work out how we can embed design research and practice into local and governmental structures. As well as researching myths, folklore and traditions by placing them in the constellation of politics, digital technologies and creativity.

 Dorota Gazy With a background in Art History and Design, Dorota brings a potent mix of creativity and academic rigour. She is not afraid to experiment with unconventional research methods and masters the art of improvising. She is a Design Researcher at STBY - https://www.stby.eu/ and co-founder of Dance Dialogue. Prior to the Design Academy Eindhoven, she completed a Bachelor and Master degree Art History at the University of Amsterdam and VU University Amsterdam. She combines her academic skills and is focussed on making people aware of their own ability to make a choice and change. As a researcher she is looking for hidden patterns and moments where we take things for granted in order to design concepts that raise questions and trigger action

Michelle - A design researcher and educator, Michelle has a Bachelors in Design from the Design Academy Eindhoven and a Masters in Design Research from Willem de Kooning Academy Rotterdam. She is the founder of Bureau Baggerman and focus on increasing sustainability by reframing and reinventing existing and traditional materials and practices and linking them to new technology, methods and materials in innovative ways. Her research results in new knowledge and inspiring prototypes which demonstrate the potential of sustainable materials and production techniques, especially in textiles. The results are broadly shared in exhibitions, publications, presentations, lectures and importantly: education.

As a teacher Haiko Sleumer is involved in the Academy for Communication and User Experience at Avans University of Applied Sciences in Breda, The Netherlands. There he teaches Critical and Speculative Design and coordinates a Minor Programm in Speculative Design focused on prototyping future ecologies. His lessons include topics like post-humanism, non-human centred design, (post) anthropocene, bio-art, futurology, new media and technology and postcolonial studies. 

Liv Potts Liv is a natural dryer, specialising in indigo fermentation dyeing. She completed a Bachelors degree at Northumbria University in Fashion Design & Marketing, and a Masters in Sustainability. During this time, she completed internships at Erdem, H&M and Old Navy in San Francisco. Her specialisms include: print, embroidered textiles, natural dyeing and marketing with business strategy. With experience in commercial and luxury fashion, she is able to advise on a range of markers, from artisan level to global markets. She has a breadth of digital skills, including Adobe Illustrator for CAD drawings and graphic/print design, Photoshop for digital illustration, and Lightroom and Premier Pro for photography and film. 
Chris Wilson Chris is a designer, educator, and letterpress printer based in Newcastle upon Tyne (UK). An award winning innovation strategist, he is experienced in managing projects within multidisciplinary teams and consulting in areas of graphic design, service design, marketing, re-branding and product development. A graduate of the School of Design at Northumbria University at Newcastle, Chris completed the Graphic Design BA (Hons) and then undertook a Masters in Multidisciplinary Design Innovation. Following several roles in the technical support team of Northumbria, providing printing and design demonstrations, he worked in the School of Design as a graduate tutor. Having created and delivered modules on the Graphic Design degree while researching post-digital letterpress printing over several years, Chris is now focussing on developing his own pedagogic design approach and creative print practice. His design and research interests include, visual communication, handicraft, design thinking and hybrid-technologies. These interests are applied to develop his creative practice using a mixture of digital technologies and traditional crafts to produce printed typographic artwork.