Anthony Wood is Global Managing Director of Shillington Education, a fast-paced, immersive design school with campuses in New York, London, Manchester, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. He is an award-winning designer and educator — originally from Sydney, via London and currently based in New York — who loves design for its ability to change perceptions, solve visual problems and inject more beauty into our world. Anthony received an Honours Degree in Design from the University of Technology Sydney. He has worked as a senior designer at leading ad agencies from Havas Worldwide to Ogilvy & Mather. In his spare time, Anthony takes on pro-bono passion projects, such as the Sydney Mardi Gras Film Festival or designing for startups and artists.
HOW AND WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO MAKE EDUCATION A MEANINGFUL PART OF YOUR CAREER?
Teaching is seriously the most satisfying job I’ve ever had. Back when I was working at ad agencies, I loved designing in teams and mentoring young designers. Working in education wasn’t really on my radar, but Shillington piqued my interest because of its innovative curriculum and approach. It was so different from my traditional University experience, where I learned to master my craft, but graduated feeling unequipped to deal with real-world clients and was forced to learn quickly on the job. After I got past Shillington’s shockingly fast-paced format, I realized it covered a lot of gaps in typical design education. I’m proud that our students are prepared to be productive, efficient designers. It’s incredibly rewarding to see students transform their lives in such a short period of time.
HOW DO YOU BALANCE THE TEACHING OF FUNDAMENTALS VERSUS THE NEED TO RESPOND TO OUR FAST-CHANGING WORLD OF MEDIA, TECHNOLOGY AND CULTURE?
As educators, it’s vital to remember that regardless of our crazy, fast-changing world — design is unquestionably rooted in problem-solving. And it always will be. Even as new apps, tools and software updates are being released faster than RuPaul changes outfits.
By applying keen research skills, design thinking and always relying on the fundamentals, students will be able to create clever solutions for any media or technology. At the end of the day, we need to teach designers who are adaptable and inspired by change and challenges.
At Shillington, we know both students and teachers are always learning. We aren’t precious or elitist. Our curriculum is developed by a small, agile team of practising designers and it’s constantly evolving with one mission in mind – teaching relevant industry skills to give our graduates the best possible chance of employment.