by Nithya Sarathchandra
Photos by Kevin Michael
Raffles Colombo the current modern design learning education provider in Colombo offers internationally recognized Bachelor’s degree programmes in Fashion Design and Interior Design. Students have the unique advantage of receiving a holistic skill based approach to design studies combined with skills development through various hands-on collaborations with industry partners both local and international.
We at Chokolaate had the pleasure of sitting down with Dinesh Chandrasena, the Academic Lead and Program Coordinator for Fashion Design, and Alina Erimia Senior Lecturer at Raffles Colombo.
“We are one, and we better make it work. Do your best.” – Dinesh Chandrasena
What makes Raffles unique?
Dinesh – We are the premier education provider for design in Sri Lanka, which is part of a large global network spanning Asia, the Pacific region and Europe. Academia has been a wonderful facet to my career as a designer and creative director, and I have always strongly believed that knowledge is meant to be shared.
What we offer at Raffles is unique, because we are international and standardized across our Network. The modules taught here, from examinations to assignments are the same you will find in Milan, Singapore, and worldwide.
This is a valuable advantage to our students as they receive global learning with the skill and strength to work anywhere in the world, simply because we deliver the same international standards here are Raffles Colombo. We also have the best local and international industry professionals teaching here.
How does Raffles offer real time Industry experience?
Dinesh – We currently have many graduates who are emerging leaders in the industry running their own business as well as taking part in CFW, MDFD, MISS EARTH and large projects with industry forerunners like Marriot Weligama, Cinnamon and Sheraton projects to name a few. Graduates gain employment, and We supervise our current students on such large scale projects, and therefore these accolades serve as feathers in their hats of achievement.
Their education here at Raffles empowered with this unique opportunity is an invaluable stepping stone into success, as we prepare them for the international arena. Our students therefore receive this unique experience as gaining first hand exposure into the industry while studying here.
How does Raffles train it’s Students/Graduates to give back to the world?
Dinesh – We at Raffles are firm believers in responsibility.
It is not just about recycling or switching off the light, responsibility has to emerge from humanity, from the understanding that we are not here to dominate, and that we are only one of many species present. Therefore it is not fair to exploit all that is around us.
These are a few of the things we as lecturers discuss to stay at the cusp of International Leadership. Also, our Singapore institute has won many awards in the field of responsible design. Therefore, we ensure our students understand that it is always a conscious decision, to be responsible in employing, designing, and in general, to making Fashion responsible in itself.
DINESH’S TOP 5 TIPS FOR RESPONSIBLE FASHION
1.EMPLOY RESPONSIBLY: We have a reason to employ fairly and across a spectrum that is unbiased of social prerequisites but is instead based on skill and talent.
2.BE RESPONSIBLE TO YOUR EMPLOYER: If someone trusts you with the responsibility of performing as per your job, you have to deliver your best and keep them informed on responsible measures, as You have been employed because of Your unique skill sets, and these need to be utilized for the good of the organization.
3.EMPOWER OTHERS: As a society, we are only but a tiny part of a large jigsaw puzzle, and thereby it is our duty to be kind, supportive and not be threatened.
4.UNDERSTAND YOUR RESPONSIBILITY: Always remember that you have a responsibility with social media and what you say or do, what is the message you are giving to people?
5.EMPOWER THE NEXT GENERATION: A great part of self actualization is giving back to the world, a great responsibility in itself. Empower and pass on!
Alina Erimia is from Romania and has been working at Raffles as a Senior Lecturer in Fashion Design for the past 3 years. A fabulous artist who can translate a great deal into design academics, Alina brings a very enriching experience of Art to her students.
“I believe art is part of culture, and through art you can ignite a person’s passion, dedication and discipline. You can also see their skills and their curiosity of the world. Each color, pigment and material adds a significant touch, and therefore it’s important to understand all your elements.” – Alina Erimia
ALINA’S TOP 4 RESPONSIBLE ART TIPS
1.KNOW YOUR MATERIAL
2.CHOOSE YOUR COMPONENTS WISELY: Back in the day, elements like coral and ivory were exploited for fashion, such measures destroy our ecosystems and the earth.
3.IT IS WHAT YOU PUT IN THAT COMES OUT.
4. ART IS TO BE INTERPRETED BY YOU; Artists take great effort into their work, it’s a universal language. Be open minded and take form to what it gives you. Enrich your soul and embrace your emotions
Adapted from Chokolaate Magazine: http://www.chokolaate.net/blog/raffles_colombo_a_unique_learning_experience_for_extraordinary_career_success