During the beginning of my first year as a RASL student I struggled with finding a balanced and efficient way to combine designing and studying simultaneously. I quickly learned that having a physical diary helped me stay  calm and organized throughout the amount of writing, reading, studying and designing I had to do. Though I also had to learn how to actually follow my planning.

I often found myself getting stuck during the process of designing wondering how I could incorporate both studies in my work. I felt a lot of pressure from myself trying to create something that was different compared to my peers who study solely at the academy. My tutors also told me that they expected more from me because of my studies at university and that I should not be mediocre.

As a RASL student I am really into researching and getting to the bottom of theories and phenomena that I find interesting to use as a starting point for my projects and designs. But, sometimes I get lost in the abundance of information during the period of researching that I end up rushing through the last two weeks of designing and making the actual garment.

After the Christmas break the electives were held. A period in which the students at WdKA follow a two-week course in which they either explore new workplaces (stations) in the school or work on in teams on projects. I chose an elective called “Resisting neutrality in technology”. I have to admit that I actually did not know what I signed up for. The registrations for the electives were lagging and I ended up having to choose from 5 electives that were still available. So naturally I chose the elective with the most vague title and description out of them all… I must say that I really enjoyed this elective because of the topics and discussions we had about the influences and effects of technology on humankind. Among other things, we spoke about the relation between racism and algorithms. The connection with sexism within society and technology stimulating this notion was also a topic that striked me.

At the end of this elective we had to present our thoughts on the topics we discussed through a booklet, poster or a letter. I incorporated my literature review about the position of women in the gaming industry to illustrate how the emergence of video gaming encourages the heteronormative stereotypes concerning gender roles. I wrote this literature review in my first course at university (academic skills). I was pleased with the result and finally found a way to combine my knowledge and researching skills into something creative. After a period of being insecure about a way to approach both studies I think this elective was a great and yet again spontaneous choice of me.