During our first visit to Sri Lanka in Spring 2015, we spent most of our time in and out of manufacturing facilities, traveling back and forth between our partner university campuses in Colombo and Jaffna, and in meetings to consolidate relationships with and between our local advisory board members. This was all to prepare the terrain for what was to come next: local manufacturing by Shiran Rubber of our hot and cold presses; identification and preparation of production facilities at the Universities of Moratuwa and Jaffna, and the parceling of responsibilities for the next 2 1/2 years.
By the end of September, the first batch of equipment was complete and delivered to the University of Moratuwa just in time for Will Well’s visit. (Go back to 2009 and this post, http://wasteforlife.org/2009/09/23/rsdi-joins-waste-for-life/, about WFL’s collaboration with RISD where Will was completing his industrial design degree. At the bottom of the page, you can see one of his original wallets designs for the RISD/WFL project – wallets that we later produced with the Nueva Mente cooperative in Morón.) Will graduated and, inspired by the RISD/WFL coursework, launched Providence Plastic, http://providenceplastic.com. We thought he was just the right person to put the new Sri Lankan machinery through its paces and demonstrate the design possibilities of working with composite materials. The pictures below are from that first very fruitful visit to our facilities at the University of Moratuwa in Colombo.