SST is located in the small city of Borås, a place with a renown history of textile production. Having most of their industrial manufacturing outsourced throughout the 20th century, the inventive spirit has sustained inside of the university walls. Furnished with state-of-the-art machines, where students are able to explore innovative materials and techniques on a full-time basis, you probably won’t find this range of equipment at any other fashion course in the northern hemisphere. The technological luxuries have enabled a process where the SST students can produce most of their pieces on their own, instead of relying on technicians, helpers or external manufacturing companies. After a risk analysis, some of these workshops are now exclusively operated by allocated staff.
“It’s very weird to go outside and see people crowding in the sun outside of pubs, and then you go to school and there’s like two people in one room alone.”
Instead of manufacturing garments themselves, students prepare digital files for technicians who produce their pieces on site. Not having 24/7 access to individual sketching areas, photo studios, advanced machine parks and textile labs is a big shift. Nanna Graversen at the MA implies that although the final submission demands have been altered and reduced, keeping the studios open somehow maintains the expectations of their performance. “At the moment I might be able to go to the machine park and have something knitted, but I can’t make a cutting test or see how the yarns react. It makes it difficult to figure out what I want or how I’m going to use something, so keeping it open is more of a sweet gesture I think. Being half stuck at home and not feeling completely safe at school either, we’re not really able to work properly.” BA student, Cornelia Ferm, believes the middle way is sometimes harder too. ”The teachers ask us why we’re not making use of the studios, so then you feel bad for not using them. It’s just that it doesn’t make sense to work there under those conditions.’” BA student Josefine Gyllensvärd highlights the complexity between how the government’s guidelines have been implemented in school compared with the rest of society. “It’s very weird to go outside and see people crowding in the sun outside of pubs, and then you go to school and there’s like two people in one room alone.”