Certificate in Craft and Design

This certificate course will provide participants with an understanding in purposeful design and sustainable product development focused on Sri Lanka’s heritage crafts. It will include theoretical and practical components, including visits to different artisan communities to observe and learn about their craft and creative processes.

In addition to a broad craft exposure, participants will be able to focus and study on one craft area , develop foundational skills under the guidance of a master artisan, and create a product portfolio. The crafts which are to be studied in depth will include pottery, beeralu, handloom and batik.

AOD, Colombo’s only fully integrated design institute, is deeply committed to promoting and preserving Sri Lankan craft. This course has been developed to provide participants with a unique insight into various artisan communities; allow Sri Lankan artisans to showcase their skills; deepen appreciation of Sri Lankan heritage craft and contemporary practice; and provide artisan communities with a new income stream.


6 months (involving 100 hours of - lectures/ practical work and study/ study tours) 
The course will commence on 1 July , 2020 and participants will attend 2 classes per week.
One week day for Classroom work and practical work, study tours on weekends.


  1. History of craft in Sri Lanka/ research techniques
  2. Color theory
  3. Shape and form
  4. Inspirational study - Observation of nature and environment.
  5. Concept development
  6. Design exploration
  7. Craft Management
  8. Ethics and sustainability

Craft Tour/ 12 contact hours

Visit artisans - Lacquer (Laksha)/ Hana/ Dumbara/ Handloom/ Wood Carving/ Pottery/ Batik/ Mat weaving (pang)/ Beeralu (bobbin lace)

Practical / 50 contact hours

Handloom 5 students

Pottery 5 students

Beeralu 5 students

Batik 5 students

Final Crit/ 6 contact hours

Discussion with panel and further working on perfecting product and portfolio

AOD is committed to delivering quality education while ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all students and staff.  Syllabus details, including the schedule of contact classes at AOD and travel to artisan communities, will be advised shortly when Covid 19 restrictions are eased.

Participant numbers in the course will be limited to allow for social distancing and to ensure personalised instruction


The course is open to anyone with an interest in exploring the links between art, craft and design in Sri Lanka.  It will include theoretical and practical components, including an overview of Sri Lankan craft in historic and contemporary settings.  The course will suit participants with a range of craft and design related interests


Design for Sustainable Development Foundation (DFSD) is a not-for-profit established by AOD in 2011.  It uses design-led strategies to support Sri Lankan artisans, promote craft innovation and encourage the empowerment of women.  Today DFSD works alongside hundreds of artisans across Sri Lanka, assisted by designers from local and international backgrounds, and a growing network of clients and supporters with an interest in quality craft.  For more information see www.dfsdrilanka.org.