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.
Douglas MacLennan - Douglas has worked in the world of fashion and fashion education for nearly fifty-two years, the first three years, exclusively in Hong Kong in the world of fashion knitwear, working sequentially for two worldwide exporters of fashion knitwear for diverse fashion market levels:
- Standard Knitting Factory Ltd, (part of the Hutchinson international Group).
- Oriental Fashion Garments Ltd.
He started teaching career in 1972 at my old alma mater St. Martin’s, moving quickly on to a teaching base at Northumbria University, where he nurtured future fashion design talent for forty-four years. More recently, he has become Associate Dean International Relations, LCDF Hanoi, Acting Chair Graduate Fashion Week, UK and Educational Advisor and Tutor at AOD, Sri Lanka. Over the past thirty-five years he has externally examined at over 35 centers of Higher Education in the UK, Spain, Greece, India and Singapore, in an international development role, I have also acquired a breadth of understanding in relation to international design undergraduate curriculums.
Jane Gottelier - Jane has over four decades of creative and commercial success within the fashion, design and education industries. Equipped with a B.A and M.A from Central St. Martins Fashion and Textile Design departments, Jane started her career at the BBC’s costume department. She quickly moved on to co-found fashion knitwear brand ‘Artwork’ with her partner Patrick Gottelier. Together they grew Artwork into a highly successful luxury knitwear brand.
In 2006 Jane shifted gears to education where she conceptualised, developed and wrote the B.A. (Hons) Fashion & B.A. (Hons) Performance Sportswear courses with Patrick Gottelier for Falmouth University in Cornwall. Both courses were completely new courses and were rapidly enriched with the addition of BA(Hons) Fashion Photography and BA(Hons) Fashion Marketing. All have been a huge success for the university. In 2014 Jane and Patrick were invited to become ‘Masters’ at the Detao Masters Academy in Shanghai and to write, found and run a BA Advanced Fashion Design program in association with the Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts. They also wrote, established an ran the BA Advanced Fashion Promotion program in association with the Wuhan Institute of Design and Science.
Patrick Gottelier - Patrick graduated in Industrial Design (Eng) at Central St. Martins and honed his skills in Industrial Management at M&S. Patrick then explored a variety of career options including interior design, accessory design, television set design and finally knitwear. With partner, Jane Gottelier they registered a knitwear label ‘Artwork. For nearly 3 decades Patrick guided Artwork to be one of the biggest UK designer knitwear brands with global sales to the most prestigious international fashion retailers.
In 2006, with three decades of commercial experience Patrick and Jane headed to Cornwall to launch the now highly successful BA (Hons) Fashion Design and BA (Hons) Performance Sportswear Design Courses at Falmouth University. By 2009 Patrick was appointed Director of the School of Design where he was responsible for eleven Design programs and went on to take on the role of Interim Dean of the School of Art and Design. In 2014 Jane and Patrick were invited to become ‘Masters’ at the Detao Masters Academy in Shanghai and to write, found and run a BA Advanced Fashion Design program in association with the Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts. They also wrote, established and ran the BA Advanced Fashion Promotion program in association with the Wuhan Institute of Design and Science.
JoanneStoker - 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.
Shilanthi Abayagunawardana - 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
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. Chani is now part of AOD’s contributing faculty to share her valuable experience and knowledge with the younger students of her alma mater.
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.
With a hearty track-record of forming productive partnerships in design and business, Marianne is an interior designer and founded her own studio, Ladyneon in 2015. She specializes in retail, hospitality and set design and holds an impressive portfolio of work with local and international clientele.
Trained in both design and academia, she manages research and multidisciplinary design projects that range from sustainable design with artisan communities, to creating virtual retail pathways in context to specific brands. A key area of her activity centers around innovation in design, and exploring how different creative practices and methods can spearhead innovative thinking in an academic environment.
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.
A Chartered architect qualified in the UK and Sri Lanka, Rashika’s studies and experience were shaped in both countries. She gained a B.Sc. in Built Environment at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka in 1998 and moved to the UK for professional experience. In 2004 she gained a M.Sc. in Built Environments, specializing in Virtual Environments at the Bartlett, UCL and a Postgraduate College Diploma at the Bartlett Interactive Workshop unit in 2005. Relocating to Sri Lanka she joined the Faculty of Architecture, University of Moratuwa from 2009 to 2012 as a senior lecturer. She was an external tutor for Colombo School of Architects from 2009 and postgraduate dissertation coordinator in 2020. Rashika taught interior design at the Academy of Design, Colombo, Sri Lanka from 2013 to 2015 and rejoined in 2020.
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.
A graduate in B.A. (Hons) Fashion Marketing at Northumbria University, Sara specialises in creative direction, design and textiles with a focus on social enterprise. At AOD she guides students to develop consumer-focused brand concepts and promotion with positive social and sustainable impact for future fashion markets. Alongside stints travelling around the world, volunteering for NGO's and working in design education she has experience in a variety of roles within the creative, fashion and retail industries including for Burberry, Fashion Market, MAD Communications, Michael Kors Jewellery at Fossil, Next Sourcing and TRAID. Through her venture Strisabha she aims to promote communities of women in social enterprise and textile craft whilst collaborating with The Centre for Women & Development Jaffna.