A New Open Day. A New Chapter

This month, AOD opened both it's proverbial and literal doors to a new chapter of its design vision. A next step in the community-building 'New Local' campaign. Or maybe step isn't the most illuminating word for it. Expansion might fit better. In celebration of 'The New Local Going Global', AOD wanted to make an open day that truly fit the name. One that connected one island, the entire world, and the art of design, to each other. 

AOD's primary goal for it's students has always been to bring the best designer within each person. To see each one unlock their full potential as an artist. And to do so, it's important to understand the potential in what you already have, in your roots, culture and identity, and just as important to look outwards at the endless potential and wonder on the world around you. So this was what AOD's new open day 'Design Lokaya' hoped to be: a look outwards. To take a peek at the beautiful perspectives on art and design that the rest of the world has to offer.

With the idea of international interest being the theme, this open day explored the question of what the world looked like, through a lens of Sri Lankan design practice. As such, a majority of the events that took place involved a blending of countries, views and experiences, amidst the classic Open day necessities. So as a commemorative ribbon to wrap up. 

The day kicked off on the ground floor with a mini fashion show, following the global spirit with its multiculturally inspired array of designs, colours and themes.
Next up came the main course of the open day: the department exhibitions. Each exhibition was populated with the works and projects, in various stages of development, of AOD's students, with a large focus on holistic design and craft. Of course ,each exhibition was accompanied by external information such as context, history, overviews, inspirations and progress boards (for the project exhibitions)

The next stage of Design Lokaya's open day experience opened the building to the more recreational activities it had to offer. After breaking for lunch, the day opened into its first open mic session, setting the tone and energy for the Gaming station and scavenger hunt events that followed. This was punctuated by an enlightening workshop held by AOD's Alumni, hailing from a mosaic of fruitful design backgrounds. From entrepreneurs, to self starters, to juggernauts in the design field. The workshops were hosted by Lonali Rodrigo, Nithya Lamahewa, Ruth Weerasinghe, Ashveen Vidanagamage and Kiran Irugalbandara. From the familiar names of Lonali Rodrigo and Nithya, who are closely involved with AOD's activities, to big brands like Inqube Global and A-design, the vast webs of the AOD ecosystem converged here in a sharing of experience, knowledge and passion.

Finally the day winded Down with the a bit of career guidance from lecturers and other experts, before mellowing down into the second and final open mic session for the night, which closed the open day in good spirits.
As eventful of a day as it was, Design Lokaya is only the beginning of a very interesting and packed journey as AOD looks across the waters, and into the wider world of design that lies around it. So what's next?