Working Seminar Colombo

In partnership with FARU (Faculty of Architecture Research Unit), University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka and the Akuru Collective, ATypI will hold a Working Seminar in Colombo on 22–23 March 2019. The single-track, two-day event will be limited to 60 participants, and give priority to seminars and workshops, with an expectation that all participants engage actively.


The main theme for the Working Seminar is the teaching of typography and typeface design in universities, colleges, and self-contained courses in the broader region.
We aim to provide a structure for educators and professionals to exchange information and experience. We will look at ways of building up and enriching study programmes, growing resources for educators, professionals, and students, and coordinate actions for growing their audience. We will also look at the impact of the growing interest in typography on the careers of educators, and how to support this growth.

Travel and accommodation information

Sri Lanka has one of the easiest Visa regimes in the world for tourists. There are direct flights to Colombo International Airport (CMB, officially Bandaranaike International Airport) from many major and regional hubs. The airport is further out from the city, and you will have to take a taxi or a bus to get to Colombo.
Getting around Colombo is easy, with street hailing of the local three-wheeler rikshaws possible on every major street, which cost around $0.30/km. There is also a popular Uber-like local trishaw-hailing app, as well as Uber for air-conditioned cars. Public transportation is safe, although not as efficient.
Accommodation in Sri Lanka is affordable, and there are many options across hotel levels, and private rentals through AirBnB. The UoM is a 30 minute drive from the centre of Colombo, but there are many hotels and AirBnB options on the beachside nearer to the UoM, in the beach-side area of Mount Lavinia. (A taxi from this area to the University would typically cost 2-3 USD.)

Here are some suggestions for accommodation:


The Working Seminar is free to attend, but you need to register on Eventbrite.


The programme is a single-track, two-day event and is limited to sixty participants, with a priority on seminars and workshops, rather than more formal lectures. All sessions will be recorded, and uploaded on the ATypI video channel. Documentation circulated will be posted online as well.

Here is the schedule for two days. Each section starts with an opening / position talk, that sets an agenda, followed by generous time for Q&A. Each of these is followed by a workshop session during which participants collaborate on an aspect of the themes in the talk.

DAY 1Friday 22 March 2019
8.00- 9.00 amRegistration and introductions 
9.00- 9.30 amOpening remarks
9.30- 10.00 amOpening talk byGerry Leonidas
10.00 – 11.00amQ&A
11.00- 11.30amCoffee break
11.30 – 12.30pmWorkshop session: Gerry Leonidas
Integrating research in practice
12.30 – 2.00pmLunch break
2.00 – 2.30pmPosition talk by Shaima ElBardawil
2.30 – 3.30pmQ&A
3.30 – 4.00pmCoffee break
4.00 – 5.00pmWorkshop session
5.00 – 5.15pmRecap statements
7.00pmPublic Event
Let’s Talk Type; Forum on Typography, text technologies and fonts as infrastructure for culture and economy
DAY 2Saturday 23 March 2019
9.00- 9.30 amRegistration
9.30- 10.00 amOpening talk by Girish Dalvi
10.00 – 11.00amQ&A
11.00- 11.30amCoffee break
11.30 – 12.00pmPosition talk by Sumanthri Samarawickrama
12.00 – 1.00pmQ&A
1.00 – 2.00pmLunch break
2.00 – 2.30pmPosition talk by Keith Tam
2.30 – 3.30pmQ&A
3.30 – 4.00pmCoffee break
4.00 – 5.00pmWorkshop sessionby Keith Tam
5.00 – 5.30pmRecap statements and closing remarks

Support and sponsorship

The Working Seminar is generously supported by the University of Moratuwa and Akuru Collective, who provide spaces, equipment, and organisational support. We welcome sponsorship to cover the costs of capture and documentation, and incidentals for delegates. Please see the Working Seminar sponsorship page.


Get in touch with us: Sumanthri Samarawickrama, Pathum Egodawatta, Gerry Leonidas