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Studying at KHiO 2021: Design

Studying at KHiO 2021: Design

Name: Alexander Gåsbakk
Programme: Bachelor of Fashion and Costume Design

What has it been like at KHiO?

My time at KHiO has been both eventful and intense. It’s strange to look back at these three years and take in everything I’ve been part of and seen and done. I’ve had the chance to team up with performers from other fields, from both dance and theatre, and on those occasions I’ve also been able to work in a cross-disciplinary manner, which has been rewarding.

Teachers, professors and workshop managers have been of tremendous help and inspiration, and they’ve always been very accommodating. Socially, I look back at many good memories with my fellow students both at and outside of school. It all became a bit amputated when the pandemic hit, which is a bit sad to think about in retrospect.

What is your main takeaway from KHiO?

My most important insight from these three years is that hard work always leads to valuable experience and knowledge, even though the final outcome was not necessarily what you initially imagined. At the same time, I have become aware of the importance of balancing work and spare time. In the heat of battle, it’s easy to forget to look after yourself, and if you do forget that, it may lead to the work losing its value because you’re no longer doing things in a thoughtful manner. Still, I’m grateful for all the hours I’ve spent on my studies, since they’ve left me with some well-developed tools and a solid basis for further work.

Tell us about your graduation project.

My graduation project was the Academy’s first fully digital costume project, called ENTER ESC, which I developed through a concept sketch for a video game whose goal is to shed light on depression and loneliness in a therapeutic context. The project focuses on costumes as storytellers, and the entire work has been developed digitally.

With this project I’m extending a hand to the video game industry and trying to create a space where character designers can expand their skills. At the same time, I have wanted to challenge the way my field defines clothes and costumes and to argue why it is necessary that the Academy aims a spotlight at digital identity and presentation.

And now what?

For me, the road ahead is very open, but I do know that I’ll continue to work digitally. I’m curious about working in a video game company with the skills I have as a costume designer, but I’m also keen on exploring and experimenting with developing other artistic expressions using digital tools. During my graduation project I discovered an untapped potential for a more abstract approach to fashion and costumes in the programme I was participating in, so in the upcoming years I’ll be taking a closer look at that idea.