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  • AOD says ‘design’ is seen as a powerful value-addition for industry
  • AOD-Northumbria Convocation 2014 sees 69 qualified design graduates passing out

186More and more businesses are seeing ‘design’ as a unique value addition and are keen to integrate it into their products and services. Design has in fact proven to deliver a competitive edge for businesses; Sri Lanka’s largest export-apparel along with tea, tourism and hospitality are examples of industries that have successfully integrated design to achieve businesses innovation and market expansion.

In this light, graduation of a new group of internationally qualified designers in Sri Lanka bears a special significance to Sri Lanka’s business sector. AOD, Sri Lanka’s International Design Campus together with UK’s Northumbria University, conferred international design degrees to a new generation of young designers who completed Northumbria’s world-renowned design degrees in a 100% internal manner in Sri Lanka. This prestigious event was held at the Mount Lavinia Hotel on Wednesday, 10 September. Sixty nine qualified design graduates passed out at the convocation.

The chief guest of the convocation, Secretary to the Minister of Higher Education Dr. Sunil Jayantha Nawaratne congratulated the young designers as well as AOD design campus for producing the fourth successful cohort of world-class design graduates from Sri Lanka.

He spoke further on the value that the ministry of education places on design, as a higher education discipline: “It is a great pleasure for the Ministry of Higher Education, as the apex institution responsible for professional education in Sri Lanka, to be part of an occasion that celebrates the outcomes of world-class education within the design sector. Design is rapidly becoming an essential value addition for our country and therefore we recognise its importance in the spectrum of higher education available to our youth.”

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The British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka John Rankin was the keynote speaker at the event honouring the significant relationship that SL maintains with the UK-the world creative hub, in relation to design education.

Rankin stated that the educational links between the UK and Sri Lanka are an important part of the overall relationship between the two countries; so is the growing collaboration in the field of design and fashion. He went on to say, “AOD is at the forefront of promoting creative and sustainable design here in Sri Lanka and I welcome its close and continuing links with Northumbria University School of Design, from which I know both institutions benefit.”

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Northumbria’s executive dean Steven Kyffin said that Northumbria University partnership with AOD has gone from strength to strength since its inception back in 2008. “As two institutions, AOD and Northumbria University UK have much in common. As I have suggested, it is in our gift to create and empower the next generation of designers and creative leaders. Both institutions share a passion to use the irrefutable power of teaching and research to make a real difference to the world. We are both determined to drive forward the discipline of design. It is only by continuing to challenge, and change, the design discipline that we will guide and grow our talented students to become the new designers and creative leaders of tomorrow.”

AOD is the only South Asian design campus to offer complete Northumbria University design degrees recognised anywhere in the world. AOD’s fashion, graphic design, interior design and motion graphics/animation design degree programs are delivered by an interesting mixture international design lecturers while the student body itself is inspiringly multi-cultural and multi-national.

Speaking at the convocation, AOD and Sri Lanka Design Festival Founder and Managing Director Linda Speldewinde mentioned that this convocation is an embodiment of AOD’s vision as it sees a group of designers who completed their education here in Sri Lanka graduating as global design citizens.

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“AOD’s partnership with UK’s Northumbria University plays a critical role in realising the first part of our vision of bringing into Sri Lanka, the very same education that helped establish the world design capital in Britain. Completing the second stage of AOD’s vision is the campus culture that guides students to work with the industry and make their work commercially relevant, understand the global consumer during study tours overseas and look closely at local industry strengths both high-tech and low-tech to embrace the unique opportunities in them. As a whole, this creates exceptional design professionals who can seize the opportunities of the growing demand for design,” she said.

AOD’s vision is one that extends well beyond traditional education and highlights the social and commercial relevance of design in today’s world. The Sri Lanka Design Festival (SLDF) which is scheduled to launch its 6th successful edition this December is AOD’s brain child and is organised annually by the campus with the help of the government and design led private sector and corporate giants who value design. This close working relationship with the government and the private sector has allowed AOD to nurture ‘industry relevant’ skills in AOD graduates and for the campus to maintain an outstanding 100% employment policy.

AOD’s principal, British designer Karen MacLeod mentioned some of the exceptional achievements of AOD graduates that validate the results of this unique vision for design education: “The most influential ambassadors of AOD’s excellence remain to be our alumni, whom the society, business world and even the international community are starting to respect and recognise; it is this very same group that were acknowledged on the catwalks of Graduate Fashion Week UK 2014 and London Fashion Week 2013, with Sri Lanka’s first ISTD award for typography and on the prestigious halls of Cannes Lions Festival for advertising.”

AOD’s convocation brought forward the outstanding results of a unique vision for design education that brings about the best of home-grown talent to match the standards of industry and business needs. For more information contact AOD (011) 5867772/3 or log on to www.aod.lk, www.facebook.com/aodsrilanka or visit 29, Lauries Road, Colombo 4.

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Sri Lanka Garments

sri lanka garments 2016Journal & Directory of the Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association, containing valuable information with regard to the apparel industry.
Issue No. 89

 

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