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Sri Lanka's First-Ever Virtual Design Festival to Showcase ‘Designed and Made in Sri Lanka’ Globally

Setting a new national benchmark, the Academy of Design (AOD) has conceptualized SRI LANKA DESIGN FESTIVAL 2021, with the purpose of promoting the country’s ‘designed and made in Sri Lanka’ initiatives through a series of virtual fashion showcases, design exhibitions, forums and workshops that focus on product innovation, sustainable design, art and creative industries. The Sri Lanka Design Festival 2021 will be held virtually for the first-time, on the 15th, 16th and 17th of January 2021. The Festival will showcase to a global audience through various collaborations and international partnerships.

Under the theme ‘impACT’, the Virtual Festival will showcase fashion and design initiatives that motivate the industry to ACT now and create a positive impact, in a meaningful way whilst bringing in much-needed new exports through design driven innovation.

Since its inception in 2009, this will mark the 10thSri Lanka Design Festival, held at a significant time, celebrating fashion, architecture, tourism and design technology bringing together all connected industries. The three-full day Virtual Festival will include over 40 different segments and showcase over 50 different eminent personalities comprising designers, design led industries, craft and the SME sector makers, artists, young entrepreneurs, speakers, celebrities and like-minded enthusiasts. Amongst many exciting segments and speakers, Anoma Wijewardene a globally renowned Sri Lankan artist will be featured as the Artist Spotlight of SLDF 2021 showcasing some of her exclusive work on art captivating transformation, inclusivity-diversity unity and climate change. Another highlight being the Keynote Speech by H.E Tshering Tobgay, former Prime Minister of Bhutan, the only carbon neutral country in the world as he shares his insights on the harmony between sustainability and economics reflecting on Bhutan’s success in this front.

The Festival will be open to the public for free and requires only prior online registration for joining. A partnership with the Ministry of International Relations will ensure all missions abroad and diplomatic missions in Sri Lanka, help promote engagement and connections that will lead to meaningful commercial collaborations for the country through the post festival period.

The virtual Sri Lanka Design Festival 2021 is produced by the country’s leading catalyst for design and innovation – Academy of Design (AOD) – in partnership with government, private and international entities, to be unveiled soon. Sri Lanka Design Festival 2021 will present a fascinating insight to how Sri Lankan creativity adapts to working in an insular world and the impact creativity, design and innovation can have on healing and recovery.

Linda Speldewinde, Founder of Sri Lanka Design Festival and Chairperson of Academy of Design commented “We are excited to bring this to you in a new way and at a much-needed time for Sri Lanka. The Sri Lanka Design Festival 2021 - reveals the first-ever virtual Festival that will innovatively showcase the initiatives, transforming the fashion and design tech industry. In the last decade, AOD has shaped the lives of many young creative people helping them to become young entrepreneurs and designers of today. Furthermore, Sri Lanka Design Festival has been a window to contribute to the fashion, tourism and design-tech industry as a whole and we are proud to collaborate with inspirational and like-minded businesses to elevate the industry as a whole and host the milestone event that would definitely recognize Sri Lankan Design, Craft, Fashion, Creative industries and Technology via the nation’s renowned change-makers at an international level”

With the opportunity to leverage fully on the virtual platform, Sri Lankan design led industries that have been globally progressive, and the design and creative industry, will elevate Sri Lanka to an international front, at Sri Lanka Design Festival 2021.The Segments and Exclusive programmes from industry, creatives and designers will be unveiled in the coming weeks including a virtual exhibition of Sri Lanka Apparel’s latest groundbreaking work to highlight what the industry has had in the making in collaboration with young designers and their value chain partners.

The ‘impACT’, themed Sri Lanka Design Festival 2021 will comprise programmes on sustainable design; Innovation initiatives such as Tech-design development; Impact of Sri Lankan design, craft and fashion, new export opportunities, grass root level industry innovation and the value of craft communities - showcasing projects and unveiling partners and initiatives that would contribute to navigate the nation out of the pandemic period. For more information and registration visit

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