– Academy of the Arts

Academic conferences and seminars might be associated with uninspiring talks, bad food and poor logistics, so when The National Academy of the Arts (Kunsthøgskolen i Oslo - KHiO) wanted to make a proper event for design dialogue they knew they needed to change the format completely.

The organizing team landed on the colloquium format (the word «colloquium» derives from the latin colloqui ’to converse’ and loqui ’to talk’) in order to create a more informal setting for interaction and discussion. Food Studio was asked to provide the food concept for the colloquium as good food and drinks are an essential part of such an event.

The Fashion North colloquium was held at The National Academy of Arts (KHiO) at on the 24th and 25th of October and the aim of the colloquium was to locate the Design department’s developing discourses about the nature of Norwegian fashion.

The organizing team felt that although many conferences are full of interesting content, the issue of lively discussion spaces is rather poorly addressed. The case is often this; starting an interesting conversation in the coffee line, only having to interrupt it to rush away to the next talk. Therefore, the design of this conference was tailored to create a positive, enjoyable and fun experience that gave adequate space and time for discussions.


A special set was built in the so-called Cathedral (Katedralen) at KHiO by the students. Here the aim was to facilitate good interaction and conversation with seating groups, soft textiles and – of course – good food and drinks.

The speakers included Dr. Mathilda Tham from Goldsmiths in London who addressed the issue of the ‘Poetics of the North’ and also Dr. Timo Rissanen, Assistant Professor of Fashion Design and Sustainability at Parsons The New School for Design in New York, who talked about the concept of ‘Materiality and the Body’.

The organizing team consisted of

• Maziar Raein, Associate Professor, Head of MA Design
• Kirsti Bræin, Professor, Head of Fashion and Costume
• Charlotte Bik Bandlien, Assistant Professor
• Thea Urdal, Design coordinator (scenography and graphic design), MA student
• Marthe Næstby, Curator, ‘Fashion North’ exhibition

The students of the Fashion and Costume department were actively participating in the themes of discussion and the organization of this colloquium.

Food Studio would love to thank Vestgulmark for the eggs, Tim Wendelboe for the coffee, Åpent Bakeri for the bread, along with Eric and Loes at Ramme gård and Linda Jolly at Hengsenga for the great seasonal vegetables.