AOD opens up its biggest talent platform to school students and aspiring designers with DESIGN & INNOVATION SEARCH 2019

Offering a fantastic opportunity for young creators at high school level and above, AOD–Sri Lanka’s celebrated educator for design and innovation–has announced a unique competition. The AOD DESIGN & INNOVATION SEARCH allows the next generation of creative thinkers, designers and innovators to win their place at AOD’s annual graduate design showcase this November. The competition is now open for entries and will host the final showcase of its winners at Sri Lanka’s largest innovation catalyst space–the Colombo Innovation Tower, parallel to AOD’s own graduating talent and alumni show. AOD’s CEO and global design education expert Robert Meeder joined us for a short interview to share more details about the competition, and discuss how it contributes to AOD’s vision to nurture and promote the kind of young creativity that will lead to building a more sustainable world.

What is the challenge that the DESIGN & INNOVATION SEARCH sets for young creatives?

RM: The challenge is to really look at the idea of ‘creating’ and ‘new’ from a different lens. For many, ‘design’ always means creating a whole new thing, with new material and new energy. But, that’s not what we want to encourage anymore because the world we live in does not need more ways to spend more energy and add to the catastrophic levels of waste and clutter that we already have trouble managing. So, AOD is challenging young creative people to make ‘new’ out of ‘old’; we are asking them to get really smart in understanding what we perceive as novelty and how people place value in the creativity or the ingenuity behind an object or a place. 

Who can apply for this competition, and what kind of winners is AOD looking for?

RM: The competition is open to anyone between the ages of 16-21; so if you can think outside-the-box and you want to be elevated to the same platform as AOD’s newest young designers, this is an opportunity you need to take. The winners we are looking for are those who have a good balance of imagination and practical thinking to completely change the way we experience the way we experience a product, visual or a place while staying within the frameworks of reusing, recycling, upcycling and using sustainable materials. 

What does AOD want to bring out of this competition and taking these winners to a major platform like the Reveal graduate show at the CIT? 

RM: AOD has always been about taking young creativity to new places, making opportunities for them, creating platforms and building recognition. When the winners are showcased at the CIT this November, what we hope to open up to them is a whole new world of opportunities and exposure in the business of design and innovation. They will be seen by AOD’s partner businesses and companies who might even invest in them to bring ideas into reality if they have seriously groundbreaking new products and ideas that catch the attention of the business community. It’s a very, very rare opportunity for a young creator. 

So, what does someone interested in participating have to do?

RM: Firstly, read and understand the competition brief on and of course, reach out to us for any questions; our dedicated team will be able to guide you through everything. The next step is to realise where your ideas or talents are, and apply your thinking to fashion, fashion marketing, visual design or interior design challenges set in the competition. An amazing opportunity to show at one of the biggest design exhibitions in the country, awaits you; so think big, dream big! We’re super excited to see what you come up with. Good luck everyone!

For more information and to follow the updates on AOD’s upcoming REVEAL exhibition as well as the DESIGN & INNOVATION SEARCH, stay tuned to or call/WhatsApp 077 572 7772 / Visit

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