You just came back from class?
Yes, I’m at the lab all day, just trying to finish up a few projects for final year. Thank you for speaking this late!
That’s okay, I tend to be more active once the sun is down.
Me too! As soon as everyone else becomes inactive, as soon as my phone is not buzzing, I’m good. Then I can stick to the game plan and get it done. I recently read Alone, Together by Sherry Turkle, and I realized how caught up I am with responding immediately. With the pandemic, it has even doubled. We think we have way more time than we do because we’re at home, but it feels busier somehow, or more exhausting.
Do you find that developing your online persona, or being active online, is important to your career?
When I graduated I was very stressed about how to present myself online. But I realized that whatever I do, my work is me, the projects I do are fun to me, I don’t do them for someone else. So, maybe this separation between work and personal life isn’t that necessary?
Why is working for yourself so important to you?
Ultimately, it’s about creative freedom, and holding on to that. After doing the BA and working in the industry for a year, I realised what a privilege it is to have time and space to explore creative ideas. It’s how you continue learning. On the MA, I’m being introduced to a whole new world of design.
I really, truly believe that slow is fast. The project I did on my BA wasn’t just something I was inspired by and then dropped forever. There is a beauty in falling love with your source of inspiration. Giving it the attention that it deserves. My graduate collection was inspired by an extreme snow sports race called Arctic Man, held in Alaska. With this event, it’s about the people I met and the energy they gave me. I have pulled three different projects from this inspiration. I want to do it justice.
“You do need to remember that you are not a scientist, you are a designer. ” – Randa Kherba
What is it about Arctic Man that made you say, I want to pursue this and I want to pursue this through design?
I come from a menswear background and I would always organically shift my projects towards functionality. I remember doing a tailoring project with Margaret Howell and I created a suit that was reversible, inspired by a commuter going home from a meeting, wearing a nylon suit for cycling, then flipping it to wool once he got to the office. That is really the first time I fell in love with the properties of materials and what they can do to enhance clothing in general.
I was looking for inspiration for my final project and I was binge-watching ice road truckers. That is where my love for everything icy comes from. These men and women who were driving in these extreme conditions, all they cared about was being warm, dry, and comfortable. That to me was something fascinating from a design perspective.