The Academy_

We teach creatives.

Founded in 2006 by a team of very passionate people, the Friends of Design Academy of Digital Arts officially opened its doors in 2007. Since that first day, we’ve been committed to exceptional education standards, and enjoy national and international industry accreditation, as well as recognition as a centre of Higher Education registered with the Department of Higher Education. 

Throughout the years, the Academy of Digital Arts has attracted staff and students from around the globe. This international network keeps our finger on the pulse of global trends and we constantly update our techniques and technology to keep our students at the forefront of the ever-evolving digital arts. 




Concept Art

I have done short courses at a different institution before and I must say that my experience at Friends of Design was infinitely better. The lecturer was great, very informative and always willing to help. Even though I had a very good understanding and a lot of experience in After Effects before the course I found that I learnt a lot regardless and got and even better understanding of the program which is what I wanted to achieve. I actually wish the course had been a week or two longer just to gain more knowledge but I think I’ll have to come back to Friends of Design for a different course.

Morgana Marengo
Sneaker Lab

Our passionate lecturers also play a vital role in keeping our academy current and connected. They’re all practising professionals in their fields, bringing invaluable real-world knowledge, contacts and insights to the table. 

On top of all this, our campus is pretty specialnestled in the beating heart of Cape Town’s city centre. It’s the ideal spot to absorb the local lifestyle and cosmopolitan culture and get the inspiration flowing. This creative energy drives our classes, which remain firmly rooted in international best practices, and are designed to prepare our students for a future-proof creative career anywhere in the world. 

Our Team_

Kay Toelle

Founder | Director

Kerry Hugill

Creative Director | Head of Web

Hannelore Olivier

Academic Head

Kate Hilson

Head of Graphic Design

Andrew Barclay

Head of Game

Andrew Avvakoumides

Head of Concept Art

Tandiwe Sautare

Registrar & Finances

Sabrina Kopp

Head of Short Courses

Daniel Petley

Head of Corporate Training

Jessica Lang

​Marketing Manager

Charlie Martinson

Short Course Advisor

Carla Kirsten

Short Course Advisor

Part of a wider tribe _

The Academy of Digital Arts is an integral part of the wider Friends of Design tribe, which includes:  

  1.  A short-course academy 
  2.  A customised corporate training department for practicing professionals 
  3.  A fully-fledged design studio and agency called Loud Rabbits.
What does this mean for ADA students? 

Being involved in all aspects of the industry enables ADA to create a uniquely well-rounded educational experience for our students.  

We have excellent insight into existing gaps in the professional workplace from our corporate training workshops, and ensure our graduates leave our doors with all the most desirable skills in their fields. 

We also understand real-world clients and their evolving expectations, because our practicing lecturers deal with them every day. We use this knowledge to prepare our students for the professional interactions that await them in the workplace, and give them the confidence and experience to excel in client-facing situations from day one. 

Bridging the gap

A huge part of our teaching philosophy at the Academy of Digital Arts is to bridge the gap between education and the industry.  

To help us do this, we partner with numerous creative organisations, exhibitions, companies and educational departments to help develop our students’ skills, expose them to future contacts and opportunities, and help drive conversation and ongoing growth within our creative community. 

We also leverage our own industry experience to design courses that meet the current needs of the workplace and prepare our students to embrace future trends and technologies coming down the pipeline. As a result, our graduates are renowned for their industry-readiness and employability, and are highly sought-after within the digital arts fields. 

Our Friends _

Register for open day_

We’d love to chat to you.
Next Open Day: 30 November 2019
Time: 10:00 for 10:30am

Space is limited so don’t forget to book your spot!

Please note there will be presentations at 10:30am.