Creative cities: The best places to study art and design

Innovation and creativity are two of the most sought-after skills in today’s world. Whilst number-crunching and word-churning are valued in the workplace, the ability to think dynamically will stand long into the digital age.

A degree in design is perfect for cultivating the innovative mind needed to move society forward.

Studying design allows you to turn dynamic thinking into impactful products, from advertising to media, and electronics. You will influence the way things look, the way people interact with your products and product workings in everyday life.

“One of the most frequently-overlooked yet crucially important elements of innovation is design. When it comes to both products and services alike, it is design that determines how the end-user will experience, interact with and generally respond to what it is that’s on offer,” said Innovate UK.

“It’s a process of identifying, pinpointing, exploring and ultimately understanding the needs of the user or audience in question.”

As well as choosing the right design course, the place you choose to pursue design studies is also integral to your development in the creative industries. Vibrant cities allow you to exercise what you have learnt in the real world through the projects and developments going on around you.

You can apply your theoretical knowledge to that new tower block that’s just been built, or get involved in community projects to develop new community spaces. The opportunity to collaborate with other creatives will broaden your capabilities and deepen your scope of knowledge.

Belonging to a creative culture gives you the chance to inspire and be inspired. Collaborative thinking enriches your studies, giving you more experience and developing your skill.

Studying in a creative culture doesn’t just benefit you, but also enriches the design community at large. Every industry needs fresh minds to drive growth, and the creative world is just the same. By joining an existing community, your skills help elevate new and existing projects thanks to innovative ideas.

“Today’s world demands more than vocational training. Challenges across the ecological, social, economic and political landscapes require leaders capable of steering their respective fields into uncharted territory,” says Douglas Easterly Head of School of Design, at Victoria University of Wellington.

“Our School provides the best option for such an education in design, and we do so in the centre of one of the most beautiful and creative hot spots in the world – Wellington, New Zealand. Students acquire studio virtuosity across five subjects – Communication Design, Design for Social Innovation, Industrial Design, Interaction Design and Media Design – while developing intensive critical and creative thinking ability, and the aptitude for communicating these qualities. Such personal transformation has led our alumni to quickly assume leadership positions in their fields, truly shaping the future of design.”

The benefits of choosing a design course that will match your academic desires with a city that can nurture your talent, and help you to grow outside the classroom are infinite. It allows you to have practical experience of the design world whilst studying a subject you love.

If you’re considering the study of design, these universities offer high-quality students in some of the world’s most creative cities…


At Victoria University of Wellington, you have the chance to live in New Zealand’s creative capital. As well as embracing a beautiful natural setting, you will live alongside national decision-makers and top creative talents.

The university is set in the heart of the city, so student life is integrated into Wellington’s unique culture. In between lectures and late night studies, you can enjoy the beautiful waterfront, soak up some culture at New Zealand’s national museum or embrace Cuba Street – the nation’s coolest cultural district.

The School of Design at Victoria University of Wellington embodies the city’s creative ethos. Ranked in the top 220 universities worldwide by QS World University Rankings, the school offers world-class courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Subject areas include Communication Design, Design for Social Innovation, Industrial Design, Interaction Design, and Media Design.

So, whatever impact you hope to make, the School of Design at Victoria University of Wellington combines expert teaching with creative culture to produce experts in design.


Dedicated to creating the next generation of artists, designers and researchers, LASALLE College of the Arts provides contemporary education for creative minds.

The college is divided into eight schools, including the School of Creative Industries, the School of Design Communications and the School of Spatial and Product Design. Whether you are interested in a Diploma qualification, a Bachelor’s degree or Postgraduate-level study, here there’s a programme to nurture your creative needs.

Located in the cultural melting pot of Singapore, students at LASALLE College of Arts are part of a global artistic network.

“LASALLE provided me with the platform to experience many Asian art forms like Dikir Barat, Bharatanatyam, and Lion Dance. It has broadened my perspective of other cultures and is definitely something I could not have learnt outside of LASALLE,” said Tan Rui Shan, a student at the college.


As the fourth-oldest university in Australia, the University of Tasmania offers an education steeped in culture. Tasmania is renowned for its rich architectural history and thriving arts scene, making it the ideal place to develop your creative knowledge.

The school places an emphasis on social responsibility and ethics in architecture and design. Hete, students can choose to study Bachelor of Architecture and Built Environments with specialisation in either Architecture or Interior Design. There is also the study option of a Master’s of Architecture.

All courses offered by the School of Architecture and Design highlight social responsibility and environmental change. This prepares students to tackle real-world problems like climate change, which are all essential to achieving sustainable development.


Ranked in the top 20 universities in the world and the best university in Australia by the QS World University Rankings, ANU offers a globally-renowned education in Canberra – Australia’s capital city.

Students at the School of Art and Design benefit from being in the epicentre of Australian culture. With national galleries, museums and archives open to the public, creative students are surrounded by the city’s artistic inspiration.

Here, undergraduates can choose to study the Bachelor of Art History and Curatorship, Bachelor of Design or Bachelor of Visual Arts. There are also research degrees in either Design or Visual Arts, Art or Art History.
The school boasts state-of-the-art creative facilities including the Digital Fabrication Lab,  Green screen, audio, video and animation studios, and the Inkjet Research Facility. These facilities combined with Canberra’s creative culture, as well as that on-campus, allows for the best creative minds to embrace their potential and become the generation of next artistic leaders.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International

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