The founder of Public Art Agency Finland, sculptor and architect Maija Kovari worked in 2014-2016 in a study project of public art, the results of which were published in Tampere in November 2016. In the project, Kovari worked as an artist in a street design team, designing artworks that could replace ordinary structures in city space. The goal was to study, if art could be integrated in urban surroundings in more cost affective methods than is currently customary.
The framework for all designs was, that the artworks should:
- be comparable in costs to the forms that they are replacing
- to attach itself naturally in the architecturea and city scape, in a way that they form a whole, supporting each other
- be technically strong, and either easily maintained or maintenance free
"To put it very shortly, the idea was to update the tradition of having artists in the teams that create our public spaces. (I write more about the vanishing and renewal of this collaborative approach here.)"
Kovari made several designs during the process, of which three were chosen to be presented to the public along with the street designs. The citizens then had the chance to comment the designs, and the comments affected the choice of the artwork. The winning proposal was the favourite of both the citizens, and the city officials, a sculpture named Peilikirkas (Mirror Clear), that works both as a sculpture reflecting its surroundings, also as a bench, replacing regular benches on the street. The process of the study, as well as the different designs can be seen on the personal website of Kovari, here.