2021/2022 Call for application for Shilanthi Abayagunawardana Textile Design Scholarship

Shilanthi Abayagunawardana Textile Design Scholarship 

Design For Sustainable Development (DFSD) Foundation has established the Shilanthi Abayagunawardana Textile Design Scholarship to promote design excellence and nurturing new talent in Sri Lankan textile design.  Shilanthi Abayagunawardana, after whom the scholarship is named, is an exceptionally talented and prolific textile designer who has devoted her career to promoting Sri Lankan heritage textiles, pushing design frontiers and mentoring students. She spends countless hours in rural communities working alongside artisan partners to create truly exquisite and unique designs and is wonderfully generous in sharing her deep knowledge and expertise.  Details of the scholarship, which is open to Sri Lankan citizens and permanent residents.
Shilanthi Abayagunawardana |TEXTILE DESIGN SCHOLARSHIP

Currently a senior lecturer in textile design at AOD, Shilanthi has been instrumental in ensuring a new generation of young Sri Lankan textile designers are conversant with Sri Lanka's textile traditions and have hands-on experience working collaboratively with artisans.Her generosity and patience in mentoring students, collaborating with peers, supporting rural artisans, advocating for Sri Lanka heritage and introducing newcomers to Lankan textile traditions are exemplary.


Eligibility
The scholarship of LKR 150,000 is open to AOD students following Level 5 Fashion Design and Textiles and Fashion Design and Marketing.

Selection 
A selection committee appointed by DFSD will award the scholarship annually.  Preference will be given to proposals or nominations that align with the DFSD objectives including:

  • Contributing to textile design innovation and excellence
  • Advancing Sri Lankan textile traditions and/or promoting Sri Lanka’s textile heritage
  • Empowering women
  • Encouraging sustainable practices in the production of Sri Lankan textiles

Applicants will be judged by the work produced for the next year.The scholarship will be reimbursed off the tuition fees once the successful candidate hand over the CPJ is handed to LRC.

Focus
The scholarship will provide a contribution towards supporting textile design talent in Sri Lanka.  Applications will be assessed on the basis of merit and financial need.  Scholarship funds can be used flexibly and creatively for different activities that will contribute to design excellence.  Examples include supporting a design practitioner to attend a workshop or short-course; funding a group of textile artisans to participate in a study tour; or having a textile design expert visit an artisan community to help expand their design boundaries.   More conventional uses of the scholarship fund, such as supporting talented students in financial hardship, will also be considered1.

Applications
Applications should be made on-line using the form provided at dfsdsrilanka.org.   Applications for the scholarship should be received by 5th December 2021 and the nominee will be announced at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week (MBFW) 2021.

Background

Shilanthi Abayagunawardana, after whom the scholarship is named, is an exceptionally talented and prolific Sri Lankan textile designer. Shilanthi has devoted her career to promoting Sri Lankan heritage textiles and pushing design frontiers.  A hallmark of her work is her practical and collaborative approach which sees her spending countless hours in rural artisan communities working alongside artisans to develop exquisite and unique designs.  Currently a senior lecturer in textile design at Sri Lanka’s premier design institute AOD, Shilanthi has been instrumental in ensuring a new generation of young Sri Lankan textile designers are conversant with Sri Lanka’s textile traditions and have hands-on experience working collaboratively with artisans. Her generosity and patience in mentoring students, collaborating with peers, supporting rural artisans, advocating for Sri Lanka heritage and introducing newcomers to Sri Lankan textile traditions are exemplary.

The scholarship was established by a bequest provided by the founders of DFSD Linda and Rohan Speldewinde.  

To learn more about the scholarship fund or the Design for Sustainable Development Foundation see www.dfsdsrilanka.org or email info@dfsdsrilanka.org