AOD Grad School | Faculty

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.

Tjeerd Veenhoven is an award  winning material - product  designer from the Netherlands  and an expert in natural fibers and  design intervention in enhancing  traditional products. He is a serial  entrepreneur and commissioned  for projects and consultancy in  many parts of the world but in his  studio in Groningen is where every  project starts. In this creative lab  there is every opportunity to come  up with new concepts, materials  and designs. Over the last 10 years Studio Tjeerd  Veenhoven was rewarded with  many awards of which the ‘H&M  Foundation Global Change Award  2016’ for his endeavours to make  textiles from green algae. He has a  proven track record in using design as a tool to develop high quality,  scalable, contemporary products  for export markets and channel the  latest science on natural fibers in  diverse industries, most would not  even think of! He studied at Hanze University of  Applied Sciences in Groningen and  has done is MA in 3D Design at ArtEZ  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,,  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.


Peter Towse is a fine art graduate  of Saint Martins School of Art in the 1960s. He is a practising  artist. In addition he has twenty  years experience of the fashion  business. He teaches fashion  sketchbook, illustration to all ages  and abilities plus storyboarding to MA film directors and was also  area leader for fashion on the  Foundation course at Central  Saint Martins. For several years  he worked with the Tibetan  community of Norbulinka  Institute in Dharmsala designing  and marketing their traditional  garments and products. Includingthe designing and building of retail  outlets for these products




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. 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.

Jane Rapley After postgraduate study at the  Royal College of Art London, Jane Rapley worked in the fashion  industry as a designer, product  director and management  consultant. She has also been  involved with design education  for over forty years. She has been  a member/officer/trustee of a  number of national bodies. Jane Rapley has been a senior  academic at Central Saint Martins  College of Art & Design (CSM)  since 1987, leading the School of  Fashion & Textile Design as its  Dean for seventeen years. She  became Head of CSM in January  2006. CSM now has a worldwide  profile with students from over  ninety countries and a thriving  research and enterprise culture  across all its disciplines.

Its graduates are amongst some  of the most influential designers,  artists, performers and journalists.  She was awarded an OBE for  services to Higher Education in 2001, and a Professorship for  Academic Leadership from the University of the Arts London  in 2010. She retired as Pro Vice  Chancellor of the University of  the Arts London (UAL), Head of  Central Saint Martins in July 2012  and as Emeritus Professor CSM/ UAL is now undertaking a variety of  national and international advisory  and consultancy roles.