Gen Z creatives look to AOD for a head start in their design careers

Having pushed out the Boomers and Gen X from the workforce, and with Millennials already on their way out, the careerscape is now making space for Gen Z; constantly evolving to the needs of this change-making generation.

Universities too have had to have a finger on the pulse of fast-moving generational trends, for Gen Z -born into the digital age and influenced heavily by the gig economy- are committed to a broader set of challenges and values, and so, are redefining the social norms and workplace culture preset by previous generations.

The Academy of Design, always in tune with the changing tides of the times, has developed a deep understanding of what makes this generation different, respecting also the varying Gen Z identities (The Inventor, The Artist, and The Entrepreneur) in turn. Whether passionate about innovation, creativity, or growing their own business, students are now wired to be tech-savvy, socially conscious, and multidisciplinary. Being aware of  what appeals to a different set of concerns and expectations, the university is constantly reassessing its modes of pedagogy, now with a greater focus on project-based learning, out-of-classroom experiences, greater accessibility to faculty, and global exposure.

Testament to its commitment to the “Digital Native” generation, is AOD’s enrolment campaign theme for 2023: “We, The New Global.” With unsurpassed interconnectivity comes limitless opportunity, and identity becomes borderless. With We, The New Global, AOD gives credence to local talent, skill, and craftsmanship, cultivating the confidence that Sri Lankan artisanry and inventiveness belong on the global stage. 

When it comes to undergraduate study however, unlike previous generations, Gen Z are more likely to have determined early which study passions they hope to pursue; and for those with design on their minds, AOD has all but paved the way.

With the pioneering design institution’s Design Foundation Program, aspiring creatives who have just completed their O/Ls can now offset an entire two years of their A/Ls by signing up for the university’s 6 to 8 month, fully-immersive, preparatory course. With the Design Foundation Program students will be allowed a deep dive into the broad spectrum of design disciplines - fashion, interior, graphics, animation, and visual communications-, right from the fundamentals to skill development; eventually being able also to make a more well-informed decision when it comes to choosing their undergraduate design pathway.

Taught by a qualified faculty of both local and international experienced tutors and visiting experts through workshops, lectures, and tutorials, the engaging and carefully curated curriculum covers a diverse portfolio of modules, namely Sketchbook and Journal Development, Design Thinking and Realisation, The Zeitgeist, Language of Design, Visual Style and Illustration, and World of Design Works; each segment giving students not just the theoretical and practical knowledge, but also the confidence with which to get that head start for when they step into their BA Program the following year: be it the BA (Hons) Fashion & Textile Design, BA (Hons) in Fashion Design & Marketing, BA (Hons) Interior Architecture Design, BA (Hons) in Graphics & Visual Communication Design or the BA (Hons) Motion Graphics & Animation Design programmes. All 3-year BA programs at AOD are awarded by Northumbria University, the UK University of the Year for 2022, as rated by Times Higher Education.

“My daughter Dulanga is a first-year student following the BA in Fashion & Textile Design, having followed the foundation program after O/L. I find AOD to be very student-centric, with qualitative input through professional tutors. Student counsellors and support staff are also extremely helpful. The youngster loves the place and the holistic experience in her journey towards excellence”- Pradeepa Kekulawala, Director of The Talent Gallery & Stratcom PLK- father of Dulanga Kekulawala, a 1st year student of BA (Hons) Fashion & Textile Design

“As a parent, I proudly recommend the Design Foundation program at AOD, where my daughter thrives in a supportive and exceptional educational environment.” - Charmain Vandort, Director of Iselro Garments Pvt Ltd- mother of Mareeza Warnakulasuriya, a 1st year student of BA (Hons) Fashion & Textile Design

Parents can rest assured that Design Foundation students will have access to the same world-class infrastructure, facilities, and design studios as the university’s undergraduate and graduate program students. With a campus housed at the centrally located and buzzing Colombo Innovation Tower (CIT), and with the university’s extensive pool of connections across a wide range of design industries, students will always have ready access to industry professionals and both global and international opportunities through which to further their growth as a designer that’s set to shape the future of our world.

Sunday Times Article

AOD invites Sri Lanka’s young design aspirants who have just completed their O/Ls, and their parents, to learn more about the university’s Design Foundation Program, and of how they can get a head start on an exciting future in design. Enrollments for the Design Foundation program are open for this July intake, for more information please 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 .