If you’re after O/L’s, find your future as a Creative Professional with AOD’s Design Foundation programme

Kat Scott, Programme Leader for AOD’s Design Foundation shares insight into how early creative exploration bridges students to undergraduate education in design and a future of creative professionalism.

Creativity is a valuable asset which drives future innovation. Creative thinkers are known to excel in what they do whether it’s in business, management or design—this is why young professionals with creative backgrounds are valued by employers today. Allowing early school leavers to access foundation education in creative thinking and design, AOD recruits a limited number of students to its ‘Design Foundation Programme’, to explore creativity as a professional skill. Joining a discussion on the Design Foundation programme and its curriculum, its lead lecturer Kat Scott said “Creative thinking for business, ability to innovate, understanding the dynamism between culture and ideas...all this starts with AOD’s Design Foundation Programme.” Kat is a Scottish designer hailing from the prestigious Edinburgh University where she studied fashion, textile and print. A passionate advocate of sustainability in design and inspiring young people with creativity, Kat heads the Design Foundation Programme.

Speaking about the programme curriculum, Kat mentioned that it is annually updated to meet the moods and moves of the business world and employment situations to make sure that students are able to get an initial education that prepares them for real conditions out there. She said that AOD’s Design Foundation Programme presents an all-inclusive curriculum that walks after O/Ls students through several creative disciplines with the help of an expert international faculty. “We cover the essentials of creative thinking from ideation, colour theory, visual research to communication. Our learning environments are open and encourage exploration and experimentation,” says Kat. It’s delivered at AOD’s high-tech design studios and industrial standard computer laboratories along with unlimited access to Sri Lanka’s largest dedicated design library situated at the campus.  This allows students to learn and experiment within standards accepted by university degrees and the industries that they will be employed in eventually. AOD Design Foundation Programme bridges this initial knowledge gap and prepares students for higher education in design with guaranteed placement in a Northumbria UK design degree in fashion design, visual communication design, interior design, fashion design & marketing or animation design at AOD. With introductions to major design disciplines and hands-on experiments that allow the students to get a taste of working in each creative sector, the AOD Design Foundation Programme serves as a practical and easy-to-understand pre-university course.

After completing the programme, the students have a guaranteed place in a 100% internal Northumbria UK design degree of their choice, which can be completed at AOD. “It’s a qualification that places them a step ahead of the rest,” says Kat.

Speaking about how the programme has set a great foundation for many, Kat said that many alumni have gone on to achieve fantastic success in higher education and in the professional world. “I think this programme is perfect for discovering who you are and what kind of creative professional you want to be; at the end of it, students always discover that they have understood their strengths, weaknesses, addressed their challenges and discovered personal career pathways too. Because of the comprehensiveness of the programme and because it allows early access to younger students, AOD graduates who started with this programme have gone on to do great things at a very young age. We have had Oshadi Paranawithana who was a first class degree awarded graduate who was nominated to represent Sri Lanka at Spikes Asia Award through her current workplace LOWE studio. Bhagya Withana who is following her masters in Australia and Sawsan Ahmed who won the national award for special achievements in the Maldives. It is a course that sets the foundation for students to find great success wherever they go in design."