AOD unleashes new wave of changemakers as 2022 class of design graduands commemorate graduation

Academy of Design honours graduating class of 2022 at convocation ceremony

The Academy of Design, Sri Lankan’s pioneering design institution, held its convocation ceremony on Thursday the 8th of December at The Balmoral at Kingsbury Hotel, giving students the opportunity to commemorate the successful completion of their design education.

This year, degrees were conferred to over 100 graduating students from across all undergraduate design disciplines offered by the university, and were handed over by Chief Guest and Chargé d’Affaires, Canadian High Commission in Colombo, Mr.Daniel Bood. “When you start with nothing, you have a creative idea or a thought. Through sweat and hard work, perhaps with some inspiration you finally end up with a satisfying result. What comes along with that is you realise that you can do something you didn’t know you could do.  This is the opportunity you have as a ‘designer’,” said Mr.Bood, addressing the graduating cohort at the ceremony.

As testament to the multidisciplinary vision of the university, this year AOD pushed the limits of innovation with its final-year students by emboldening them to harness their newfound skills and learnings towards projects meant to create vibrant, environmentally, and socially sustainable solutions that are rooted in local tradition and craftsmanship; while also incorporating an international and contemporary focus in design. This #TheNewLocal movement encouraged a contemporary retelling of Sri Lanka’s rich cultural heritage as one that can be not just accessible, but also embraced, by a global audience.

To culminate the year of elevating all things local, students were given the opportunity to showcase their final year projects -to both industry heads and the general public- at the annual graduation showcase, 360One, as a crucial component of the annual Sri Lanka Design Festival. This year themed ‘Panoramically new, panoramically local, design lokayak’, the fete expressed an extension of the #TheNewLocal movement, offering a panoramic view into the local design landscape by activating conversations around the intersections between identity, craftsmanship, and innovation, and how localism can be accelerated as a means to highlight the country’s cultural repository as a means to sustain the global economy.

AOD’s powerful partnership with Northumbria University, UK, has ensured over the years that Sri Lankan students can reap the many benefits of a prestigious British design education from closer to home. Having just been bestowed the title of University of the Year 2022 at the illustrious Times Higher Education (THE) Awards, the Northumbria-AoD alliance now offers up so much more.

All 3-year full-time undergraduate programmes at AOD are wholly accredited by Northumbria University. This includes the BA in (Hons) Fashion & Textile Design, BA (Hons) in Fashion Design & Marketing, BA (Hons) in Interior Architecture Design, BA (Hons) in Graphics & Visual Communication Design, and BA (Hons) in Motion Graphics & Animation Design degrees. 

AOD also uniquely offers O/L graduates the opportunity to get a head start on their design career trajectory with its Design Foundation programme. Here, young design aspirants will not just get an introduction to the various design disciplines, but will also develop the skills required for their tertiary creative education.

Numerous other local and international partnerships forged by AOD have also contributed to the 99% employment rate it has come to consistently secure for its students over the years. Opportunities that have been reaped as a result –during a student’s course of study- have come in the form of international study tours, work-study placements with some of Sri Lanka’s key industry players, distinguished international and local showcases, global training placements, and more – translating academic connections to career security.

However, as a multidisciplinary design institution with an equally multidisciplinary vision, AOD exists primarily to create innovative change-makers and passionate designers who are driven to use their creative prowess as a positive force for social, environmental, and economic upliftment. Both in theory and in practice, the academy’s contemporary curricula take into consideration the global issues plaguing the contemporary world, and equips its students with the tools to tackle the ever-changing workplace of the future; this year’s graduates armed too with a resilience borne out of having faced a pandemic-ridden world.

Administering these high-calibre curricula with contagious enthusiasm, is its dedicated international faculty of highly-qualified tutors, each bringing to the table both a unique contemporary skillset and an expansive portfolio of experience.

In addition to superior course material and accomplished lecturers, students at AOD also get to live, breathe, and absorb all things design from within the halls of the iconic Colombo Innovation Tower (CIT) – the very ecosystem of inspiration. As the official campus for the university, CIT comes equipped with world-class facilities and infrastructure as well as inspirational workspaces, also providing students with access to some of the country’s greatest design minds working from within the same walls.

AOD’s 2022 graduates, as with each cohort, walk away not just with degrees in hand, but armed with the confidence that they have been sufficiently equipped to take on and reshape the world.

AOD invites O/L and A/L graduates and Sri Lanka’s young design aspirants to learn more about the university’s many undergraduate programmes, and how they too can stake a claim at having an award-winning design education under their belt. For more information, contact AOD on 0775727772, email or walk in between 9am and 4pm Monday to Friday – Colombo Innovation Tower, No 477, R. A De Mel Mawatha, Colombo