Preparing to celebrate the graduates of 2023 who are ready to shape the creative industries & welcomes new batch of change makers

AOD – Sri Lanka’s pioneering design university- is all set to welcome its promising new batch of students, while at the same time bidding farewell to its graduating batch of creative innovators of the future.

Ever since its inception in 2001, Aod has remained committed to its mission of providing world-par design education to students in Sri Lanka. The university has since gone from strength to strength, forging powerful local and international partnerships and growing its diverse network of design innovators with the aim to create unrivalled opportunities and platforms with which to launch graduates’ creative careers. As a result, Aod students are primed for success, with a recorded 100% employability rate, fully equipped to take on the challenges of a fast-evolving career landscape.

Students looking to pursue a successful design-led education at Aod can choose from a broad portfolio of 3-year full-time undergraduate programmes – all of which are accredited by the globally ranked Northumbria University in the UK. Namely, the BA (Hons) Fashion & Textile Design, BA (Hons) Fashion Design & Marketing, BA (Hons) Interior Design, BA (Hons) Graphics & Visual Communication Design, and the BA (Hons) Motion Graphics & Animation Design.

Further strengthening its position as the total design education solutions provider in Sri Lanka, the university also provides fully accredited graduate school programs in partnership with the De Montfort University, UK for those choosing to further hone their passion. Masters’ programs include the (MA) Design Innovation, (MA) Design Management & Entrepreneurship, and (MA) Contour Fashion Innovation.

As it prepares to also welcome new students into the fold, the design Aod is concurrently prepping the stage to bid farewell to its graduating batch of 2023. This resilient cohort first walked through the university’s doors in the immediate wake of the pandemic, forging ahead despite several restrictions still in place and for the most part having to pursue their degree remotely.

Cyrus Viccaji, Lecturer, Motion Graphics and Animation pays tribute to his graduating cohort. ”This year’s MGA students are among the brightest, hardworking, and talented young people I have had the pleasure of teaching and learning from,” he says. “They really have a strongly developed aesthetic and skills that will add value to any organisation or project, here or abroad. I am confident of their success because they bring strong work ethic, insight and genuine passion to whatever they undertake.”

Testament to the resilience of this generation, Aod’s ‘The New Global’ 2023 enrolment campaign celebrates the immense potential of future creatives in taking their crafts into the international design space.

Thomass Atkinson – Director Academic Affairs, Professor of Fashion, and Academic Mentor underlines the significance of the unique model of design education at Aod. “Aod thrives on its quality teaching, pedagogical practices, and strong industry collaborations strategically aligned to local crafts and international partnerships – all contributing to underpin its relevance to the industry and global perspective,” he comments. “This provides its emerging design students with unique experiential learning enabling them to advance their skills, access to industry specialists, and also excellent opportunities to develop themselves as practitioners, showcase on global platforms, and even play a pivotal role in shaping design futures.”

”This year, The New Global encourages creatives to think intelligently and sustainably. It will feature a diverse range of collections that highlight heritage and artisanal craft, innovative processes and techniques, and contemporary design – and in turn, we trust this will add significant value to new market needs, the global economies, and as a whole impact the world more sustainably,” he adds.

Graduating students have much to look forward to as they prepare to showcase their final year design projects on a prestigious platform – an annual culmination of students’ work.

“There is so much excitement building up at AOD within the student cohort as we ready ourselves to reveal their final collections; the best of which will be selected to show as part of the Mercedes Benz Fashion Runway event, scheduled for Colombo on 2nd December,” says Lesley de Freitas – Senior Lecturer and Academic Mentor, Fashion Marketing. “Since joining AOD in January of this year, my role -which is a mix of mentor, lecturer, creative director and cheerleader- allows me to support our students in an academic capacity, as well as encourage authentic expression through experimental studio practice and creative primary research.”

“Their collections as a result, are innovative, eclectic, and market ready, highlighting their own determination and the diversity of their aesthetics, which is testament to the support systems that we have in place here at AOD,” she adds. “Many of my former students in London and Shanghai have gone on to have international careers and progression to top institutions, including the Royal College of Art, University of the Arts London, Central Saint Martins and LCF, and I have every expectation to see many success stories evolve from our own graduates, class of 2023.”

Atkinson adds “Aod is once again preparing to reveal its new and diverse breadth of creative design graduate talent on this year’s global event platforms: The 2023 Mercedes Benz Fashion Runway event, and the Sri Lanka Design Festival 1st-3rd December.”

“The graduates at Aod are immersed in a unique educational environment which unites design-led innovation with enterprise, and are part of an extraordinary living unique eco system. Using the power of creativity through contemporary design, students endeavour to make a significant impact on the creative sector, rural crafts and communities, as well as social and cultural sustainability through their collections. With all of these initiatives and collaborations that influence the course of contemporary South Asian creativity.”

This year, Aod’s interior design students in particular can look forward to learning under the expertise of a new member of the already diverse, globally experienced faculty. Chelsey Watthy who joins as a lecturer for the university’s interior design department, is an interior architect hailing from Belgium, with a professional background spanning Europe and the United States.

“Joining a university with a worldwide reach is a beautiful opportunity,” says Watthy, “and I’m happy to take on the role.”

“AOD is known for being involved in a big design community that has worldwide events and many tools to help new designers grow, and I am eager to contribute to the global landscape of AOD.”

Aod invites Sri Lanka’s future design innovators to learn more about the university’s diverse portfolio of accredited degrees and how its diverse and global faculty is helping prime the next generation of creative change-makers for success.


For more information, contact Aod on 0775727772, email
or walk in between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday 

Colombo Innovation Tower, No 477,R A De Mel Mawatha, Colombo 04.


Sunday Times Article