What it’s like to study at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts: Design

“I never thought I’d make such advances as a designer, or that I would acquire such a wide-ranging theoretical foundation for my future endeavours, and become so reflective and well-grounded in my career,” says Sara Gretteberg, who graduated just now as a furniture and interior designer.

Sara Gretteberg (24), Bachelor’s degree from the Design department

“I dreamt of becoming an interior architect already when I was 13 years old,” Sara Gretteberg explains. “And now I’m here and I’ve studied interior architecture and furniture design for three years! It took three visits to the Academy’s website to download the application test before I finally dared to apply.”
Before Gretteberg applied to the Academy, she spent a year at the Krabbesholm preparatory art school in Denmark.

“I didn’t think I’d become so well-grounded in my career as a designer here at the Academy, so that I don’t merely jump on to the latest trend or get sucked in by the commercial undertow.”

 In class the students worked closely both with their peers and the professors.
“The professors became more like mentors than regular teachers. We are a small group of students, and the teachers follow us up in a terrific way.”

“In my class there were twelve different people, with entirely different approaches to design, something that was very educational.”
She would recommend those starting their studies at the Academy this autumn to avail themselves of all the opportunities that are open to them at the school, and try out different studios and methods.

“I mean, this has to be one of the nicest schools in the entire world! The studios and the facilities are at a world-class level, I would have to imagine. When you begin here, you have to take charge of your own career path, toughen up and let your voice be heard, and work a lot. Start strongly right out of the gate, don’t just tag along! And if you make friends at the Academy of Dance already during your first semester, then believe me, you’ll still be friends three years later.”

She advises first-year students to put some of their fears for the future behind them. “In the beginning I was worried about what would become of me, but all that gets sorted out in the end. We take courses that prepare us for a future as designers. I wish I hadn’t worried so much about things my first year here – there’s no point in that.”

Sara Gretteberg joined the student council and has worked there on behalf of her fellow students. “If you have something on your chest, my advice is to get involved!”

PHOTO: Sara Gretteberg sitting on a bench in one of the Academy’s studios.