Charlotte Østergaard

Charlotte Østergaard

Doctoral student

Personal profile



Brief description of the artistic research: 

My research aims to explore costume as a polyphone process between agents, positions, disciplines, perspectives, epistemologies, methodologies, and other. I will study how costume can become co-creational processes of ‘coexisting’ and ‘becoming-with’ with others (participants, collaborators, co-creators) where we in specific situations create or dream future ‘worldings’. I will study how co-creators engage, respond, disturb, reflect, and change my design process and artistic practice. Accordingly, the design process is in the centre of artistic research. 

The project has two main frames: to unfold or study co-creative costume design processes (method) and to explore, develop, and extend the (costume) vocabulary we use in the processes. Through a number of artistic manifestations my ambitions are to collect research data (interviews, images and video and audio recording) on co-creative processes.


A little longer description:

As a designer, I consider costume to include wearable products that communicate something and iterative processes that simultaneously will be informed, influenced, and transformed by humans with their individual perspectives on making, wearing, performing, and watching non-human material, and by spatiality, and temporality. 

My artistic research derives from years of design practice where pre-set institutional structures and hierarchal positions have often defined my individual design process and any collaborative processes. In my practice, I confront the perception that the role of the designer is to serve a predetermined purpose by designing a visual expression, which implicitly means defining what a tailor produces and deciding what a performer wear. 

With the research, my ambition is to re-negotiate the role of the costume designer. With a more openminded and playful approach towards the role of the designer, I will explore how I can become the facilitator of heterogeneous co-creative costume processes between human participants and non-human materials. My intention is to open design processes, that I usually accomplish alone or semi-alone, by involving participants who, in more traditional settings, are excluded from the design process. Inversely, I will study how participants inform and transform my design process and artistic practice.

On a more fundamental level, I will investigate and challenge our (participants and my own) biased perceptions of disciplinary and hierarchical positions and perspectives to discuss and reflect upon potentials in and perspectives of what co-creative costume processes (and more generally co-creative theatre processes) can become. Hence, my ambition is to develop costume methods that contain interdisciplinary and inter-artistic perspectives.

At the level of practice, my ambitions are to develop and transform costume design processes into polyphonic co-creative performative workshops and/or events, called Costume Salons, that favour the multi-layered encounters of touch between human participants and non-human materials. The Costume Salons have four focal points: material sampling (sketching and making), fitting (fitting, dressing and wearing), conversation costume (prototyping and wearing) and co-habitation (to in-habit and to co-exist). 

In the frame of the Costume Salons, I will invite different numbers of participants to engage with me and others actively. In the process, participants will respond to me, the others, the Salon frame, and reflect on the setup, the interaction, and the specific salon theme. The ambition is that the participants become actual co-creators in co-creative processes. During the costume salons, my position varies between initiator, facilitator, and participant. Connected to each Salon, I will write, co-write and re-write statements I call ‘manifestos’ with the intention to democratize, liberate, create transparency and initiating dialogues and negotiations in the Costume Salon processes, and create transparency for my perspective and, at the same time, scrutinize my position as designer and researcher. 


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Free keywords

  • costume
  • co-creation
  • design process
  • listening


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Collaborations the last five years

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