AOD | School of Design student Tehani Walpola to represent Lankan talent at Spikes Creative Academy 2019 in Singapore.

Tehani joins a steady stream of AOD students who have become Spikes Creative Academy alumni over the years: Her experience at one of the world’s most respected training programmes for young creative thinkers has positioned Tehani among the most employable designers to enter the industry in 2019 when she graduates this year. Tehani is a product of AOD’s innovation focused visual communication design degree programme, and she embodies the new generation of design thinkers and problem solvers that are gaining new interest from the business world.

Tehani Walpola is a third and final year design degree student at AOD. Every year, the Spikes Creative Academy picks fifteen students from the entire Asia Pacific region to attend a three-day study experience that gives them access to some of the most outstanding designers, creative thinkers, art directors and business makers from around the world, from some of the most competitive industry backgrounds. The Spikes Creative Academy experience will include tailor-made sessions conducted by industry experts to strengthen individual portfolios and thinking, as well as carefully curated programme of talks and seminars from the main festival agenda in Singapore. This three-day learning opportunity conducted by world class personalities helps young designers to completely transform their thinking, and often leads to a major leap in terms of their education or career.

Tehani will also have the opportunity to interact and to learn from the most inspiring and experienced figures in the industry, experience the amazing creative work done in the region this year, and to foster new connections with young creative professionals from all over Asia.


Tehani, who lives by the personal life mantra ‘never stop exploring’, has all the makings of a true innovator. She welcomes this incredibly rare opportunity as a “major opportunity that allows me to step outside my comfort zone and enter new surroundings, new cultures and open up to a whole new learning experience.” She added that all these years, Sri Lankan alumni of the Spikes Asia Creative Academy have managed to use this exposure as a life-changing opportunity that elevates their careers. Tehani looks forward to finding similar meaningfulness and inspiration in Singapore this year, and bring back new knowledge to the creative industry back here. “I'm looking forward to bringing back some great insights and lessons that I could bring back home and use to evolve, grow and better the world through my enhanced creative abilities,” she said.

A senior faculty member of the visual communication department mentioned that AOD constantly pushes its students to participate in these kinds of international competitions and awards for two reasons; firstly to measure their relevance, innovative capabilities and against global parameters so that they will be ready to compete at international markets when they graduate; secondly to access new learning exposure overseas. “It’s important for AOD students, especially the majority who come from South Asian island cultures like Sri Lanka and the Maldives, to get exposure to learning and networking overseas. We find that this changes their paradigm completely, and allows them to think globally, while retaining the unique cultural dimensions of their homes. So, experiences like Spikes Asia go a long way, to find new inspiration, and to bring back global knowledge to your industries back home. Tehani is a great student and we’re very confident about what she will do out there at Spikes, and also that she will use her experience to enrich her circles here.”

AOD trains young talented minds like Tehani to take on tomorrow, and evolve into the kind of young professionals who can truly make a difference in the social and economic dimensions of Sri Lanka. AOD’s groundbreaking education offer comes through four disciplines from the School of Design, School of Fashion, School of Business and the School of Technology.


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