Art in use

Impact assessment of public art in the construction sector

The research project is part of Ornamo Art and Design Finland's Solutions for the integration of art into construction projects, a development project which aims at streamlining the co-operation between the creative design and construction sectors. Besides Ornamo and Cupore, the project partners include Frei Zimmer, the Building Information Foundation RTS, the City of Riihimäki, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences and the Seinäjoki Unit of the University of the Arts Helsinki. The project receives support from the European Social Fund.

Cupore's research for the ESF project explores the use of public art in recent Finnish construction projects and its effects from the standpoint of various stakeholders. In the research project an instrument for evaluating the effects of art will be produced. The creation of the instrument is based on national and international research and studying of relevant indicators in the fields, as well as on an analysis of selected domestic examples.

Cupore - Taide käyttöön: Kuinka mitata taiteen vaikutuksia rakentamisessa? ESR-hanke Ratkaisumalleja taiteen yhdistämiseksi rakentamiseen.

Recently, creative design and public art have been increasingly used in the construction sector. However, we still know very little of the benefits ​​that art produces in connection with construction projects. Public art in the case of construction of residential areas, for example, can be examined at an economic, social, and aesthetic level:

• How has public art improved the economic value of a residential area?
• Does art increase the price of housing even further in growth centers?
• How satisfied are the residents in art in their living environments?
• To what extent does art increase the aesthetics of the residential area (the area's architecture and appearance)?
• Can art significantly improve the safety of residents by reducing the level of violence in the area?

The most important starting point of the research is Ixia's Public Art: A Guide to Evaluation, which was originally published in the UK in 2009. The evaluation model presented there is critically examined. At the same time, it is considered whether the model could be applied not only to individual art projects, but also to regional art programs that have become more common in Finland in recent years. We are interested in the economic effects of public art as well as its social and aesthetic impacts.

Cupore’s research uses qualitative and quantitative data and methods. Firstly, a mapping of art and creative design embedded in residential areas and entities of infrastructure as well as regional art programs in Finland will be carried out. Secondly, research on public art in a wider international context and instrument development will be scoped. A conversation is carried out with the professionals in the construction industry in Finland especially concerning economic impacts.

The research targets are 3–5 residential areas and entities of infrastructure with public art completed at different times in different parts of Finland. Commissioners’, construction experts’, and end-users’ views on the impact of public art on these locations are collected through surveys and small group discussions. The instrument for evaluating the effects of art is tested and further developed with the help of materials produced in the case locations.

The instrument is intended to be versatile and user-friendly. Various actors in the real estate business as well as the creative design and construction sectors can take advantage of it when  evaluating and foreseeing the effects of public art. The instrument is intended for both the private and public sectors. Furthermore, it can be applied in urban planning to improve the quality of the constructed environment through art.


ESF Creative Expertise Project 2018-2020: Solutions for the integration of art into construction projects

Solutions for the integration of art into construction projects is a nationwide project that creates solutions for the co-operation of creative design and construction sectors. A user-driven service concept serving both the creative design and construction industries will be developed in close collaboration with seven partners. The project will, among other things, improve the business and market expertise of companies in creative design through training, provide guidance on competitive bidding for art consultants, and produce tools for evaluating the effects of public art in construction projects in the public and private sectors.

This joint project supports the restructuring of the construction sector and the sustainable design of the built environment. It will result in a viable economic infrastructure where art consultants and other actors in the art market provide flexible services to municipalities, the construction industry, and artists. As business in the field grows, creative design professionals will by employed as specialists and service providers in the construction sector and as part of teams in urban planning.

The project leader is Ornamo Art and Design Finland. The partners are Cupore, Frei Zimmer, the Building Information Foundation RTS, the City of Riihimäki, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences and the Seinäjoki Unit of the University of the Arts Helsinki. This Creative Expertise Project 2018-2020, supported by the European Social Fund, is a development project intended to promote employment and skills of employees besides social inclusion.

Project's website

About the project on Ornamo's website

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Oona Myllyntaus
Oona Myllyntaus Project Manager, MA, AE

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Sari Karttunen
Sari Karttunen Senior Researcher

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