AIT’s 45th Graduate Design Exhibition Opens Tonight

Athlone Institute of Technology’s 45th graduate design showcase opens this Friday evening, 28 May, at 6pm.

The exhibition features the work of final year BA (Hons) Graphic and Digital Design, BA Graphic Design and BA (Hons) Animation and Illustration students and covers a breadth of media and topics, including identity, biophilia, climate change, creative chaos, autism, fear and self-worth.

Speaking ahead of tonight’s showcase, Tara Cullen, a design lecturer at AIT, said: “Each student brought their individual processes and opinions to the studio sessions and continued this approach while their classes continued over Zoom.

“The group embraced all the challenges in a positive manner, and as the year progressed, each student flourished in different ways. With their new design knowledge and improved skills, the students are ready for the next phase of their design journey."

AIT design lecturer John Benton, who teaches the graduating BA (Hons) in Graphic and Digital Design class, said that his group explored key social issues in their artwork – from people’s relationship with technology, a discussion of the socio-economic factors (or social determinants) impacting mental health and poverty to the principles of rights, equity, anti-stigma and non-discrimination to peer support.

“In these uncertain times, it’s so refreshing to see such empathy from these young minds for a social movement towards supporting non-profit organisations in battling these issues,” he explained, adding that “acceptance, individualism, and accountability is really the core that drives the class of 2021.”

According to animation and illustration lecturer Yvonne Hennessy, the graduating cohort have overcome the significant challenges presented by Covid-19 to produce a wide variety of creative and original artwork for the end-of-year showcase.

Just some of the work members of the public can expect to see include illustrated children’s books, graphic novels and comic books, animated films, tabletop card games and video games.

“The work showcases their individual areas of interest, their study of the world around them and their capturing of story and intrigue through form, colour, texture and movement,” Yvonne explained. “Through their unique approaches they have created bodies of artwork that represent their artistic talents.

Members of the public are encouraged to visit the virtual exhibition, the scope of which has been particularly ambitious this year.

Further details about Design at AIT can be accessed via the faculty’s Facebook page.

Athlone Institute of Technology is a research-led third-level institute with an applied, industry-focused offering, world-class research and development capabilities, and state-of-the-art facilities. Winner of The Sunday Times Institute of the Year 2020 and 2018, AIT is Ireland’s top-ranked institute of technology and is on track to open its doors as the country’s third technological university in September 2021. AIT tops Ireland’s official league table for research and was listed in U-Multirank’s Top 25 Performing Universities in the World for Interdisciplinary Research in 2018 and 2019. For information relating to the institute’s undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, visit 

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