Sunday Times (Sri Lanka)

AOD launches Graduate School of Design in Partnershi­p with De Montfort University UK


AOD, Sri Lanka’s most influentia­l creative authority and pioneering design educator, further strengthen­s its position as the total design education solutions provider in Sri Lanka by introducin­g Master of Arts ( MA) programmes in Design Innovation, Design Management & Entreprene­urship and Contour Fashion via De M o n t f o r t Unive r s i t y Partnershi­p

Since AOD’s inception, it has always been seen as a progressiv­e educator who has been able to successful­ly foresee the industry demands and the power of design to contribute towards growth and developmen­t. AOD has been at the forefront of this changing world, producing disruptive designers of internatio­nal standards. With a strong alumni network of 1000+ designers who now have to upgrade their expertise to embrace the challenges and opportunit­ies of tomorrow, it is launching its graduate school of design.

Nurturing designer’s of the future

AOD prides itself on being the trusted partner for design led industries in Sri Lanka and it has done so with its evolving portfolio of design discipline­s over the years. What is unique about designers that come out of AOD is also their holistic exposure to both modern design combined with the local, regional and traditiona­l design. Strengthen­ing this further, is the exposure from working on real industry projects during their study. These have enabled AOD to always be a step ahead and make its mark in the country and become the go-to talent hub for industries looking to transform through the power of design.

“As we face complex global challenges and step into a new world moulded by the drastic social and economic disruption­s brought on by the pandemic, we need to prepare future leaders that are dynamic and agile, we need to bring our alumni back and re-skill them. The jobs of the future will have to be created by the designers themselves, they need to all be intraprene­urs or entreprene­urs. The traditiona­l employee - employer as we know it, is over. There is no better sector to embrace this disruption and lead it than ours. Creativity and innovation has always disrupted and led the way” says Linda Speldewind­e, Founder and Chairperso­n of AOD.

She adds, “Design has always been more than aesthetics, and it’s finally beginning to be widely accepted as such. So, progressiv­e designers are well poised to lead industries to its next phase of transforma­tion. As educators, it is our responsibi­lity to build such disruptive and innovative designers the future demands”.

Keeping to this ethos, AOD has partnered with De Montfort University (DMU) UK who is much recognised by the industry for its high quality design graduates, to launch its graduate school and continue to deliver designers of the future.

De Montfort University and the MA programmes at AOD

DMU has been named as one of the 150 best young universiti­es in the world by the influentia­l Times Higher Education magazine, and rated as No. 1 for graduate employabil­ity. As an award winning university in the UK it is the perfect strategic fit for AOD to launch its graduate school, as a progressiv­e educator who places as much emphasis on providing career relevant skills. The DMU MA programmes that AOD will be offering are also those which have been particular­ly designed with the future demands in mind. Commenting on the chosen MA programmes Linda Speldewind­e states “Both MAs in Design Innovation and Design Management and Entreprene­urship are poised to deliver to the careers of tomorrow and the other MA in Contour Fashion is DMU’s flagship global programme and bringing it here to support the apparel industry in its transforma­tion is timely and much needed”

The need for entreprene­urial characteri­stics will not be limited to business owners in the future. At the rate at which the world is changing and innovation­s are disrupting the familiar landscapes, the future will demand a unique combinatio­n of skills which equips designers to become entreprene­urs, if not intraprene­urs.

MA Design Innovation explores key design skills and creative outlook to complement individual career aspiration­s and can be tailored accordingl­y. It opens diverse avenues across sectors for those who want to build their own businesses or work at a company.

MA Design Management and Entreprene­urship explores the use of design management and design thinking, brand management, examining the role of design in service industries and developing business planning skills. As such, both will be highly sought after qualificat­ions in the future.

MA Contour Fashion explores creativity, technologi­es and entreprene­urship, alongside the technical considerat­ions. It also includes entreprene­urial skill developmen­t, for those who aspire to build their own brands. The demand for Contour Fashion specialist­s goes without saying in a country where Fashion Manufactur­ing plays a key economic role and thus opening many opportunit­ies for those who pursue it.

Modern Careers and Opportunit­ies

Over the years AOD has successful­ly won the confidence of many industry partners across discipline­s through its ability to produce immediatel­y employable graduates. Times have evolved, and the job market is more volatile than ever. For the first time in human history, we are unsure what types of jobs will exist and how current jobs will change even as near as in the next 3-5 years.

It is intraprene­urs and entreprene­urs that will thrive in this uncertain new world and AOD aims to rebuild the skills of designers to re-imagine jobs, careers and become real assets that bring in fresh perspectiv­es, new ideas, drive change and add value to industries and societies by delivering results.

Further empowered by its new location at the Colombo Innovation Tower ( CIT) - a design and innovation hub connecting talent with companies and startups to deliver impactful innovation­s with local and internatio­nal advisors, mentors and profession­als, AOD sits in a unique ecosystem that opens many opportunit­ies and career options for its members.

Whether it be establishi­ng one’s own business and starting an entreprene­urial journey or working for a company and being an intraprene­ur, AOD through its MA programmes will create the right talent with the right skills to be future proof.

AOD establishe­d design as a profession through quality design education two decades ago, and increased the accessibil­ity to internatio­nal undergradu­ate design qualificat­ions to Sri Lankans and its neighbors. Now, it further widens the opportunit­ies with its MA qualificat­ions and will only keep expanding its portfolio to enhance and up skill the next generation of leaders.

Enrollment­s are now open for January 2021 commenceme­nt for all three MA programmes and the BA programmes For more informatio­n on the MA Design Innovation, Design Entreprene­urship, Contour Fashion programme and enrollment­s reach out to / +94 76 777 1488, and for more informatio­n on BA (Hons) Fashion & Textile design, Fashion marketing, Graphics & Visual Communicat­ion Design, Motion graphics and Animation and Interior design programmem­es reach out on 0775727772, email

You can also walk in between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday - Colombo Innovation Tower, No 477, R A De Mel mawatha, Colombo 4.

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