Image taken at SLDF 2018

Design Katha




James graduated from the University of Nottingham with a BA Hons Degree in French Linguistics, moving into the advertising world in 2007. Over the next 7 years he evolved into a senior creative copywriter, brand guardian and Creative Director, working on brands including Disney, Toyota, Lexus, Puma, Citroen, Nissan and Starbucks. In 2015, James joined Balmond Studio as Creative Director exclusively. He is responsible for the development of brand infrastructure and communication as well as conceptual and strategic growth throughout the organisational network.


A contemporary artist whose work encapsulates her passion for sustainability, diversity, inclusivity, transformation, unity and climate change. Anoma’s art has been displayed internationally at Sotheby's Hong Kong show 2016 and the Venice Biennale 2019 and at galleries in London, Dubai, New Delhi, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Sydney and in Sri Lanka as well. She is an alumni and former lecturer at Central Saint Martins.​


Ruchi Jeyanathan is a practicing architect and interior designer. Originally hailing from India, she graduated from the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, where she started her career in architectural practise before relocating to Sri Lanka in the early 90s. She counts over twenty years of active practise in Sri Lanka, is a director and head of design at The Contemporary Design Studio Pvt Ltd.  and a self-confessed ‘disruptor’ of design and process oriented conversations in architecture.


A Founder & Editor-in-Chief of ARTRA Magazine, Sri Lanka’s  Contemporary Art Magazine established in 2012 with the aim of celebrating visual/ performance/ applied written art whilst strengthening the growth of the local art ecosystem and industrial footprint. ARTRA collaborates with leading local and international art festivals, corporates and cultural partners to ensure the growth of the local art scene in promoting a cultural economy.

15 Jan, 17:00 - 18:00 GMT+5:30

Online Event

Design Katha: Impact of Public Art in Society

Public art is a distinguished part of our public history and our evolving culture. It reflects our society, adds meaning to our cities and uniqueness to our communities. It provides an intersection between past, present and future. Join us as we explore all these elements on Design Katha.


Russell Miranda

Executive Creative Director, Dentsu Grants

Russell Miranda graduated from the Sir J.J. Institute of Applied Art, University of Mumbai. He cut his teeth in the business as an Art Director at Grant Bozell in the early 90s. He is currently the Executive Creative Director for Dentsu Grant in Sri Lanka. He has worked in McCann offices in Bangkok, Madrid, and New York. He is also the recipient of the McEd Leadership Scholarship. Russell brings with him a vast experience of strategic creative direction. Over the years, he has worked on most of the leading local and international brands in Sri Lanka. His portfolio of work include: SriLankan Airlines, UNICEF, Nescafe, Lion Beer, Sampath Bank, Poppy Day, Keells Foods, Women in Need, Unilever, China Doll and Rocell.

Ralston Joseph

Director, Popkorn 

Ralston Joseph is an advertising professional with 14 years experience, and has been lecturing and mentoring students for 8 years in Creative Writing, Ideation, Branding & Identity. He also trains agencies, marketers and startups in branding, communication strategy, digital thinking, and judging creative.

Tarisha De Alwis Mederipitiya

Founder, TC    

Tarisha has an innate flair for design, a skill she has passionately cultivated since beginning her career over 15 years ago at Grant McCann Erikson, one of Sri Lanka’s leading creative agencies. She subsequently graduated from the Raffles International College in Thailand, with a BA in Visual Communication, and joined Triad Advertising upon her return to Sri Lanka, where she served as Associate Group Head. She also represented Sri Lanka at the Young Lions Competition in Cannes, France in 2012. Tarisha is currently the Co-Founder of TC, a boutique creative and branding consultancy, based out of Sri Lanka. 

Rommel Arumugam

Creative Group Head at Wunderman Thompson

I’ve been in advertising for over 12 years now – My passion for it started in Illustration and Design. My career began at the Grant group as a Junior Art Director and I’m now a Creative Group Head at Wunderman Thompson. I’m a huge Star Wars and Tolkien nerd, I build Terrariums, I construct acoustic guitar pedalboards and I love learning about the inner workings of the universe and the human mind. I also have quite the soft spot for memes that walk the fine line of “Hahah” and “Can they say that?”.

Tehani Walpola

Junior Art Director,

Magic Mango

My passion is to make positive changes in people's lives through design. Having begun my career in graphic design and visual communication at the Academy of Design, Northumbria and graduating with 1st class honours. I had the opportunity and great honour to have been chosen to represent Sri Lankan talent at Spikes Creative Academy 2019 in Singapore, enabling me to foster new connections with young creative professionals from all over Asia.

Janath Gamage

Art Director, Publicis Groupe

- Singapore


Janath Gamage, also known as ‘Jay’, is an internationally award-winning Art Director. Currently working for Leo Burnett/Publicis Groupe in Singapore. Ranked No.38th Designer in the Global Creative Rankings by the Art Directors Club in 2019, the first ever Sri Lankan to be invited and inducted to the Art Directors Club (New York Chapter), and currently the No.1 ranked creative in Sri Lanka by Campaign Brief Asia, his work has gone on to win accolades such as Sri Lanka’s first ever D&AD Impact pencil, and in many other prestigious award shows.

Chani Perera

Program Manager, Visual Communications  & Motion Graphics and Animations, AOD

Forum Curator

15 Jan, 18:00 - 19:15 GMT+5:30

Online Zoom Event

Design Katha: Impact of Design in Advertising

A discussion within a unique and diverse set of varying perceptions of the many possibilities of the application of design in the ad world. From a fresh perspective to a veteran one, how impactful design has been in the industry and how important it will become in the future. Tune in to find out.

Design Katha: Craft & Architecture with Ruchi Jeyanathan

16 Jan, 12:00 - 12:30 GMT+5:30

Online Event

A practicing architect and interior designer, Ruchi, draws a parallel between traditional crafts and architecture. She talks us through the practice of keeping detail oriented conversations alive through the semantics of construction, an open ear to available elements and bringing the right craftsmen.


Ruchi Jeyanathan is a practicing architect and interior designer. Originally hailing from India, she graduated from the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, where she started her career in architectural practise before relocating to Sri Lanka in the early 90s. She counts over twenty years of active practise in Sri Lanka, is a director and head of design at The Contemporary Design Studio Pvt Ltd.  and a self-confessed ‘disruptor’ of design and process oriented conversations in architecture.

Design Katha: Sri Lanka's Gem & Jewellery Legacy

16 Jan, 17:00 - 18:15 GMT+5:30

Online Event

Holding the world enchanted as we take you on a journey into the heart of Sri Lanka’s gem and jewellery legacy. A variety of videos, unearthing the dazzling history of our gems, the evolution of mining and many stories spun around the gems of Sri Lanka.


Presented by 


Helen has a broad and international commercial and academic background in the gem and jewellery industry, having worked with the trade, gemmological laboratories, and auction houses across Europe and Asia. During ten years as a jewellery specialist for Sotheby’s and Christie’s in London and Geneva, Helen handled, researched and valued many world class gems and important and royal collections.

Topic: History of the Gem and Jewellery Industry of Sri Lanka


With 35 years of experience in the gem and jewelry industry, Andrew is an owner of an independent gem and jewelry company focused on creating custom designed jewelry and cut gemstones incorporating diamonds, colored gemstones, high karat gold, and antiquities selling jewelry both wholesale and retail. Also manufacturing, dealing, and brokering colored gemstones and antique jewelry. He has 28 years experience in gemological education at the Gemological Institute of America lecturing, course development, supply chain research, field gemology, and mine-to-market gemology.

Topic: Mine-to-Market


Armil is a fifth generation gem merchant who has played an integral role in the Sri Lankan market by spearheading the gemstone industry towards global innovation and development. As a board member of the National Gem & Jewellery Authority, Sri Lanka Gem & Jewellery Association, Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka and FACETS he has tirelessly projected Sri Lanka as a key source & manufacturing nation for gemstones with sustainable production.

Topic: Gem Cutting and Processing


Rui Galopim de Carvalho FGA DGA is a Gem Education Consultant based in Portugal with a vast experience in the study of gem-set artefacts of historical heritage in National Museums and private collections, being author of several books and articles on the subject and currently serving as consultant for the future Portuguese Royal Treasury Museum.

Topic: Jewellery Manufacturing and Craftsmanship


A connoisseur of gems and jewellery, Richa started curating and executing educational ‘Gem Journeys’ to mines, manufacturing hubs, artist studios, and museums in 2013. The objective: to learn and become a discerning collector, and share knowledge with others with similar interests. Within a few short years, she acquired a loyal group of gem-lovers who started travelling with her

Topic: Storytelling in today's world (Digitization)


Design Katha: Port City Future City: Creative View Point

16 Jan, 18:00 - 19:00  GMT+5:30

Online Event

Buildings transcend function. They are symbols. Icons reflecting visions, missions and philosophies. What are the connections between aspiration and execution? In other words, how do we translate wider objectives into tangible architecture? Port City embodies this question. The mission is to create a smart city of the future. A fully self contained ecosystem offering new urban, consumerist, lifestyle and business experiences. Every city has a beginning. The unique and dynamic Port City sales pavilion is the first structure on site, marking the intent of the project. Join both Port City and pavilion architects Balmond Studio in a discussion about the Port City project and how it will impact the future.