Posts tagged sri lankan design
After Minnette – stories of female Sri Lankan architects

Minnette de Silva is a hard act to follow by anyone’s standard. She was a pioneer on so many fronts – as a female, as an Asian and as an architect but also as that then unknown creature of “female Asian architect” (Minnette had a strong affinity with India after her time there and therefore considered herself Asian, not just Ceylonese or Sri Lankan). Minnette pursued revolutionary ideas about architecture which sought to modify the industrial building methods of the time by recognising that climate, community and traditional crafts were also essential components of architectural design in Asia.

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The Lunuganga Garden by Geoffrey Bawa

The first time I arrived at Geoffrey Bawa’s country estate of Lunuganga I had rushed up the old coast road from Galle Fort amid the monsoon. I had gotten waylaid languishing around the fort during a lull in the storms, unrealistically hoping to avoid the slow local traffic (which of course I didn’t) and was therefore 10 minutes late for the 2 pm garden tour. “I am sorry madam but the tour starts strictly on time and so you cannot come in,” said a stone-faced groundkeeper. What?? But I don’t live in Sri Lanka and I’ve travelled all this way … but … but.

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Colombo shopping guide: PR Sri Lanka

It wasn’t so long ago that fashionable Sri Lankans would travel abroad to quench their thirst for well-designed, avant garde clothing. Foreign purchased clothing was synonymous with good taste and high style. I still remember being encouraged to buy clothes specifically for visiting Sri Lanka on holidays, like it was my duty to show the locals just how it was done. Although this cultural cringe is not unique to Sri Lanka, back then it was fostered by a devastating ethnic conflict which left little appetite for supporting the “frivolity” of fashion let alone design in Sri Lanka. But that all changed in 2013.

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Colombo shopping guide: Paradise Road

One of my top 5 places in the Essential Colombo Shopping Guide is the flagship store of Paradise Road in the Viharamahadevi North shopping district. It’s more than just another Colombo shop. Paradise Road is a Sri Lankan destination frequented by locals and tourists alike – a testimony to the originality of the store’s concept.

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The essential Colombo shopping guide

This is the essential Colombo shopping guide with detailed maps and itineraries to help you navigate where to shop in Colombo. Experience the explosion of Sri Lankan creativity following the war years, one which has resulted in an offering of Sri Lankan clothing, accessories, jewellery, homewares, interiors and even books. Find Sri Lankan goods which are ethically made, environmentally sustainable, chic and uniquely Sri Lankan in style, aesthetic or provenance.

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Tropical modernism: Sri Lanka’s stamp on world architecture

In Sri Lanka’s current travel boom, boutique hotels are a dime a dozen. But it wasn’t always this way. I remember a time when we would travel for miles only to stay at “rest houses” approved by the Sri Lankan Tourist Board because there just wasn’t much else on offer. Of course, those rest houses were perfectly fine and functional but hardly inspiring with their faintly bureaucratic uniformity. So you can imagine my awe when …

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