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Tove: Trust your ideas and yourself!

Tove Brunberg is a dancer and choreographer and is now studying for the first year at Umeå University's School of Architecture. The best thing about studying architecture is being able to work on projects, she thinks.

Tove graduated in 2006 from the Royal Swedish Ballet School in Stockholm. Since then, she has worked as a dancer and choreographer, including at the Norrland Opera in Umeå. The freelance life as a cultural worker invites to the most odd jobs as she has also worked in periods as a waitress, bookseller and substitute teacher.

Where does your interest in architecture come from?
“I took a course at the School of Dance in curating - which means project management of art exhibitions. There I met an architect and after that meeting I opened my eyes to architecture - she was inspiring in many ways and a start in my architectural career.”

How did you end up in Umeå?
“Umeå University was actually not my first choice, I had heard that it was stormy around the management and the rector of the School of Architecture. So at first I was skeptical of the education, but it has worked well so far!”

Tell us a little about the programme!
“The teaching takes place mainly in project form where we get a task that we have to solve. It can be about design or research on a topic. It is largely your own work and up to you what it will be in the end! We are a large class with many different experiences and ages. The teachers I have are competent.”

What parts do you like?
“I like the elements that are "less" free in their design. It is always easier to work when there is a clear goal. There, the technology is simple in the sense that there is an answer, a conclusion, when I develop a drawing.”

How is the atmosphere at school?
“I study the first year and there are many who drop out now in the beginning, but I had heard it is common, but it creates a certain ambivalence. Otherwise, I think there is a good atmosphere, I like that the different years can easily get in touch with each other.”

What is the best thing about studying architecture?
“The best thing about studying architecture is working in different projects. I like working towards deadlines because there is a clearly set end date to relate to. It also creates dynamics in the work, there is a dramatic curve. I like that architecture is also about society and structures, not just about form and construction. It is a creative and innovative subject area where the works are created by us practitioners. It is therefore important to trust your ideas and yourself. It's easy to get lost in an artistic process.”

How do you thrive in Umeå and how is Umeå as a student city?
“It is difficult to find new friends in Umeå in addition to the students and courses in my own school. I think the people of Umeå think that "well, here is another student who will disappear from here in a few years". It was very difficult to find housing at first, in the end I got a room in a farmhouse. If you as a student are going to study on the Art Campus and do not live on Ålidhem, there will not be much student feeling. It is possible to make Umeå your own student city, the conditions are there, but that has not been my biggest interest.”

What plans do you have for the future?
“I would like to go on an exchange semester during the years I study here, preferably to Paris because I am a francophile or Aarhus in Denmark because I think Danish architecture and design is exciting! After my bachelor's degree, I would like to work for a year or so before I start my master's studies. Later on, when I finish my education, I want to decide what kind of projects I do, I want to find contexts where I am inspired by the people I work with.”

Read more about the Architecture programme

ABOUT Tove Brunberg

Comes from: Västerås, lives in Stockholm since 2003.
Age: 30.
Likes: Crème brulée.
Browsing: Modern psychology and the magazine Vi.
Favorite architect: Alvar Aalto. A humanist who had an eye for form.
Umeå in three words: Wooden houses - Awkward - Non-anonymous.


Interview: Ingrid Söderbergh