Our History

Sri Lanka’s Design for Sustainable Development Foundation (DFSD) is a non-profit organisation established by AOD (the Academy of Design), Colombo’s premier design institute, in 2011.


DFSD uses design-led strategies to promote sustainable development in the craft sector. This includes teaming top designers with skilled crafts people to foster design innovation. DFSD has a strong focus on sound environmental practices, women’s empowerment and promoting heritage skills.


Today DFSD works alongside hundreds of artisans across Sri Lanka, assisted by over fifty designers from local and international backgrounds, and a growing network of clients and supporters with an interest in quality craft.


DFSD partnerships have helped to produce a beautiful range of hand-produced items from across the island that are sold domestically and internationally via Urban Island, Fashionmarket, and other ethical retailers. DFSD ensures artisans are properly trained and rewarded, middle-men bypassed, and skills passed on to the next generation.