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.

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.

Lankan citizen or permanent residents who are practicing artisans, students in textile-related field or are working in textile related field are eligible to apply or be nominated. A unique feature of this scholarship is that it can be awarded to either individuals or groups of artisans, students and/or practitioners, and can be used flexibly including to fund further study, travel and/or workshops.


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

  • Contribution to design excellence in textiles
  • Advancing Sri Lankan textile traditions and/or promoting Srilanka's textile heritage.
  • Encouraging sustainable practices in the production of Sri Lankan textiles.
  • Empowering Women