AOD launches Graduate School of Design in Partnership with De Montfort University UK

AOD, Sri Lanka’s most influential creative authority and pioneering  design educator, further strengthens its position as the total design education solutions provider in Sri Lanka  by introducing Master of Arts (MA) programs in  Design Innovation, Design Management & Entrepreneurship and Contour Fashion via De Montfort University Partnership


Since AOD’s inception, it has always been seen as a progressive educator who has been able to successfully foresee the industry demands and the power of design to contribute towards growth and development. AOD has been at the forefront of this changing world, producing disruptive designers of international standards. With a strong alumni network of 1000+ designers who now have to upgrade their expertise to embrace the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow, it is launching its graduate school of design.

Nurturing designer’s of the future

AOD prides itself on being the trusted partner for design led industries in Sri Lanka and it has done so with its evolving portfolio of design disciplines over the years. What is unique about designers that come out of AOD is also their holistic exposure to both modern design combined with the local, regional and traditional design. Strengthening this further, is the exposure from working on real industry projects during their study. These have enabled AOD to always be a step ahead and make its mark in the country and become the go-to talent hub for industries looking to transform through the power of design. 


“As we face complex global challenges and step into a new world moulded by the drastic social and economic disruptions brought on by the pandemic, we need to prepare future leaders that are dynamic and agile, we need to bring our alumni back and re-skill them. The jobs of the future will have to be created by the designers themselves, they need to all be intrapreneurs or entrepreneurs. The traditional employee - employer as we know it, is over.  There is no better sector to embrace this disruption and lead it than ours. Creativity and innovation has always disrupted and led the way” says Linda Speldewinde, Founder and Chairperson of AOD. 


She adds, “Design has always been more than aesthetics, and it's finally beginning to be widely accepted as such. So, progressive designers are well poised to lead industries to its next phase of transformation. As educators, it is our responsibility to build such disruptive and innovative designers the future demands”. 


Keeping to this ethos, AOD has partnered with De Montfort University (DMU) UK who is much recognised by the industry for its high quality design graduates, to launch its graduate school and continue to deliver designers of the future.


De Montfort University and the MA programs at AOD

DMU has been named as one of the 150 best young universities in the world by the influential Times Higher Education magazine, and rated as No.1 for graduate employability. As an award winning university in the UK it is the perfect strategic fit for AOD to launch its graduate school, as a progressive educator who places as much emphasis on providing career relevant skills. The DMU MA programs that AOD will be offering are also those which have been particularly designed with the future demands in mind. Commenting on the chosen MA programs Linda Speldewinde states “Both MAs in Design Innovation and Design Management and Entrepreneurship are poised to deliver to the careers of tomorrow and the other MA in Contour Fashion is DMU’s flagship global program and bringing it here to support the apparel industry in its transformation is timely and much needed” 

The need for entrepreneurial characteristics will not be limited to business owners in the future. At the rate at which the world is changing and innovations are disrupting the familiar landscapes, the future will demand a unique combination of skills which equips designers to become entrepreneurs, if not intrapreneurs. 

MA Design Innovation explores key design skills and creative outlook to complement individual career aspirations and can be tailored accordingly. It opens diverse avenues across sectors for those who want to build their own businesses or work at a company. 

MA Design Management and Entrepreneurship explores the use of design management and design thinking, brand management, examining the role of design in service industries and developing business planning skills. As such, both will be highly sought after qualifications in the future. 

MA Contour Fashion explores creativity, technologies and entrepreneurship, alongside the technical considerations. It also includes entrepreneurial skill development, for those who aspire to build their own brands. The demand for Contour Fashion specialists goes without saying in a country where Fashion Manufacturing plays a key economic role and thus opening many opportunities for those who pursue it. 


Modern Careers and Opportunities 

Over the years AOD has successfully won the confidence of many industry partners across disciplines through its ability to produce immediately employable graduates. Times have evolved, and the job market is more volatile than ever. For the first time in human history, we are unsure what types of jobs will exist and how current jobs will change even as near as in the next 3-5 years. 


It is intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs that will thrive in this uncertain new world and AOD aims to rebuild the skills of designers to re-imagine jobs, careers and become real assets that bring in fresh perspectives, new ideas, drive change and add value to industries and societies by delivering results. 


Further empowered by its new location at the Colombo Innovation Tower (CIT) - a design and innovation hub connecting talent with companies and startups to deliver impactful innovations with local and international advisors, mentors and professionals, AOD sits in a unique eco-system that opens many opportunities and career options for its members.  


Whether it be establishing one’s own business and starting an entrepreneurial journey or working for a company and being an intrapreneur, AOD through its MA programs will create the right talent with the right skills to be future proof. 


AOD established design as a profession through quality design education two decades ago, and increased the accessibility to international undergraduate design qualifications to Sri Lankans and its neighbors. Now, it further widens the opportunities with its MA qualifications and will only keep expanding its portfolio to enhance and up skill the next generation of leaders. 


Enrollments are now open for January 2021 commencement for all three MA programs and the BA programs For more information on the MA Design Innovation, Design Entrepreneurship, Contour Fashion program and enrollments reach out to / +94 76 777 1488, and for more information on BA (Hons) Fashion & Textile design, Fashion marketing, Graphics & Visual Communication Design, Motion graphics and Animation and Interior design programs reach out on 0775727772, email


You can also walk in between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday - Colombo Innovation Tower, No 477, R A De Mel mawatha, Colombo 4.