AKTO is the leading non-state Art & Design Institution in Greece. We are committed to preparing successful and creative professionals, who are distinguished by their talent, professionalism and ethos. Education at AKTO is built on solid academic foundations, while at the same time, its career-focused-scope fully incorporates the latest industry trends. We aim at supporting our students to form well-rounded personalities and to confidently pursue their future in a global market.
AKTO was the first Greek institution to seek and attain validation for its programmes from a British University, in 1991. Since then, AKTO has become Middlesex University's strategic partner in Southeast Europe.
AKTO currently offers eight BA (Hons) and two MA programmes, validated by Middlesex University. Many of these programmes did not exist elsewhere in Greece, nor existed in the curriculum of Middlesex University at the time when they were first submitted for validation, making thus AKTO a higher education pioneer. AKTO's long relationship with Middlesex University has prompted other Greek colleges to seek alliances with several European institutions. AKTO, thus, can be seen as the educational institution leading the way in associating Greek private higher education with its European and International counterparts.
A recent example is the collaboration with Middlesex University, specifically between the Departments of Graphic and Interior Design, which led to a common student exhibition, presented in both Athens and London campuses. Further, the overseas collaboration with the Department of Architecture and Interior Design of Kingdom University of Bahrain, resulted in the shared practicum "Social Design in Public Spaces", hosted by AKTO. Moreover, last summer, AKTO, in collaboration with AA ATHENS Visiting School, also accommodated a ten-day workshop, for the third time, in which Architecture students from all over the world took part.
AKTO has managed thus to remain at the top of its league for a long time, with its programmes being subject to periodic audit and review by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), the British Accreditation Council (BAC), the Greek Ministry of Education as well as constant assessment by Middlesex University.
Collaborations between national educational institutions and private colleges do not normally occur in Greece. AKTO, however, has collaborated with prominent academics to organize a series of conferences and lectures, such as the Education in Fine and Applied Arts, Visual Design & Creative Expression, Architecture & Industrial Design, Education & Society, inviting thus public university faculty members as speakers, as well as prominent politicians, artists, publishers and journalists. A typical example is the “Brands: the Antidote to Crisis” workshop by the famous marketing guru Malcolm McDonald, under the auspices of the Greek Association of Branded Products (ESVEP) and the Greek Advertising Association (SDE), hosted by AKTO.
Enjoying unbroken trust in the employment market is very important for any educational institution. Thus, the high standards of education offered by ΑΚΤΟ is acknowledged by the Greek market and has given us the opportunity to run innovative and exclusive industry projects, competitions or activities of social and educational interest with significant industry partners. By introducing industry-inspired projects to curriculum studies, or as extracurricular activities, AKTO brings students in touch with real market conditions, assisting them in networking even before their graduation. Collaborations lead to public presentation of student work and awards for the winners. Indicative examples of collaboration are as follows:
AKTO supports organizations, associations and institutes, which promote the arts, culture and design, either in the form of sponsorship or with the mutual organization of educational or cultural events. A successful example has been the collaboration with the Benaki Museum, where AKTO Product & Design Innovation students/graduates exhibited their work, inspired by the museum’s Byzantine collection. Further, in partnership with the Indonesian Embassy, a group of prominent Indonesian artists exhibited their paintings and delivered a couple of traditional Batik-technique-seminars on the Athens campus, where also the "Action & Mystery" exhibition was later presented in cooperation with the British Embassy. AKTO Sketch-Comics-Cartoon and Graphic Design students/graduates got inspired by the distinguished British characters of James Bond and Sherlock Holmes in order to create their own posters and comics books.
AKTO students/graduates and tutors’ work is often presented at “Art Athina” – the International Contemporary Art Fair in Athens, where galleries and cultural institutions, publishing houses and media from around the world get involved. Further, the “Pecha Kucha” Night (meaning “the sound of discussion” in Japanese) started in Tokyo in 2003 and by now is widely recognized, taking place in 155 cities worldwide and mainly relating to the young public within the broader area of art and design. When presented in Athens it was sponsored by AKTO. Besides, the Greek “Graphic Design & Illustration Awards” (EVGE) are also supported by AKTO, which participates in the annual competition under the auspices of the International Confederation of Graphic Design Associations (ICOGRADA) and the Greek Association of Graphic Designers (EGE). ΑΚΤΟ also sponsors the “Hermes Awards”, the only awards in Greece acknowledging Creativity in Communication. It is a very important event, which is organized on an annual basis by the “Greek Advertising & Communication Companies Association”.
In the past, several AKTO students/graduates and tutors participated with their distinguishable cows in the “Athens Cow Parade”, the international art event that has been hosted by more than 50 countries worldwide, amongst them Greece (Athens). In addition, ΑΚΤΟ had supported the International Comics Festival, “Babel Festival”, for a number of years, organized locally since 1996. More recently, “Comicdom Con Athens” has also been an event actively supported by AKTO, both by its tutors and students/graduates. The festival aims at sharing current trends in international comics with the public.
Among the local events that AKTO Fashion Design students and graduates regularly participate, wining prestigious awards, is the “Athens Xclusive Designers Week”, the “PanHellenic Fur Design Competition”, under the auspices of International Fur Federation, and the “Triumph Inspiration Awards” with the winners participating in the international Triumph competition. Moreover, the “Nespresso Boutique Opening” in Athens city centre gave AKTO students the opportunity to create clothes and accessories using Νespresso coffee capsules, while the “Medasset: Healthy Seas Fashion Project”, provided participants with recycled fish net fibres to create their own proposal. The participants had their collections exhibited in several Greek cities and then in the Netherlands Delta-park, where will be on display for a couple of years. Another interesting event was the “Jägermeister: Art & Fashion in a bottle”, in which Fashion, Fine Art and Graphic Design students/graduates participated for three consecutive years, inspired by the well-known drink.
AKTO students organized a photography exhibition that included shots of several concerts of the National Orchestra of Athens, on the occasion of its 60th anniversary. The exhibition was held at the foyer of the Athens Concert Hall, Greece’s state-of-the-art complex for orchestral music and opera. Moreover, when the Greek National Opera presented some events dedicated to composer Giacomo Puccini on the 150th anniversary of his birth, the opening of the performances was accompanied by an exhibition of posters designed by AKTO’s Graphic Design students, held in the foyer of the historic Olympia Theatre. Further, the Organizing Committee for the 2004 Athens Olympics assigned to AKTO students the design of exhibition kiosks, where specifically designed stamps for the 2004 Games were on display. AKTO Graphic Design students also created posters for the Paralympics, while the Photography students had the opportunity to work at the Kodak Press Centre. Besides, AKTO photography graduates organized an exhibition titled “Apopseis” (views) in collaboration with Photovision, Greece’s premier photographic exhibition since 1995, attracting a large number of visitors and accompanied by a series of cultural events.
AKTO has also hold a couple of collaborations with the Hellenic Air Force: Graphic Design students were assigned a poster design to mark the HAF’s annual celebration event and at the same time the Interior Architecture students competed in redesigning the Museum of the Air Force Academy in Athens. The Municipality of Athens has also invited Interior Architecture students, for a couple of times, to create a Christmas-Tree proposal, later to be placed in the centre of Athens (Syntagma Square), where AKTO participants won the first place and their ideas were implemented. Further, the Notosgalleries Department Stores, in both Athens and Thessaloniki, have invited AKTO Interior Architecture and Graphic Design students to decorate their windows for a number of times, giving them the opportunity to win awards and promote their future portfolios. In 2010, our students participated in the “Design Lab”, the pioneering Greek exhibition for Architectural, Interior and Industrial design, where two of the canoe-kayak models exhibited, designed and built by our students, were highly complimented. Just recently, another important collaboration took place, with AKTO Product and Design Innovation students/graduates being invited to present their designs for the Dutch brand of watches, Oozoo. The event was hosted by AKTO in Athens.
Motorola, on the occasion of the company’s promotional campaign in Greece, invited our Fashion, Fine Art and Photography students to present a show and exhibition, inspired by two of the telecom giant’s telephone models, Pebl & Razor. Further, for the circulation of the A-Class model, Mercedes Benz Hellas assigned AKTO’s Fine Art students the creation of relevant contemporary artwork. The final result was presented at an exhibition and the best works were awarded prizes by representatives of the company. Campari Amvix, Campari’s importer in Greece, commissioned a competitive exhibition of original artwork entitled “Red passion”, while Texaco Greece assigned a competition to AKTO’s Photography students. The 12 award winning photographs were printed and comprised the creative element in the company’s calendar.
Neoset, one of the largest Greek furniture chains in Greece, announced a competition among AKTO’s Product Design students titled “A proposal for a new way of life 15-25”. The students designed multi-use furniture for the age bracket and presented their proposals at an exhibition, which was then dismantled and re-displayed in all the Neoset salesrooms. In addition, Coffeeway, one of the largest coffee retail chains in Greece, requested AKTO’s support in adding an artistic touch to its stores. For a period of one year, AKTO’s students participated in a series of briefings run by the company’s marketing department, thus producing creative proposals. The nominated work decorated the windows of the chain stores every month, nationwide. Further, AKTO Sketch–Comics–Cartoon and Fine Art students created work using intense colouring based on the main characteristic of Hewlett Packard. These artworks were exhibited at open-air events on central squares in Athens and members of the public were offered the opportunity to take prints displaying the outstanding colour, a result achieved by HP technology. The event was presented under HP’s banner, “the value of authenticity”. Besides, Mont Blanc Tzannes, the representative of Mont Blanc in Greece, assigned a creative photography competition to AKTO students. The theme was the historic Meisterstuck fountain pen. The results were displayed at a photography exhibition in Athens, accompanied by the publication of an album with the award-winning photographs.
AKTO’s main focus is on its both undergraduate BA (Hons) degrees as well as its postgraduate MA programmes. At the same time, attention is also paid on its lifelong learning and vocational training programmes in all its art and design disciplines. Our future goal will be the development of a number of new postgraduate courses.
faculties and departments
Higher Education: BA and MA Departments
Further Education: Vocational Training Department (IEK), Life Long Learning Department (Distance & Open Learning, Short Courses & Seminars)
bachelor level programs
BA (Hons) Graphic Design (3 years)
BA (Hons) Product & Design Innovation (3 years)
BA (Hons) Interior Architecture (3 years)
BA (Hons) Fine Art & New Media (3 years)
BA (Hons) Fashion Design (3 years)
BA (Hons) Photography (3 years)
BA (Hons) Animation & Interactive Media (3 years)
BA (Hons) Sketch-Comics-Cartoon (3 years)
BA (Hons) Game Design (3 years)
master level programs
MA in Design (3 semesters)
MA in Digital Design & Imteractive Applications (3 semesters)
MA in Photography & Visual Language (3 semesters)
MA in Fashion Brand Communication & Styling (3 semesters)
MA in Art & Education (3 semesters)
research activity and main areas
While AKTO does not have a research programme yet, there is a strong research requirement in the main MA Projects which are conducted in various art and design study fields, offered by the College, and could be further developed in the future.
subject areas for exchange students
cost of living per month (studying and living)