Creating a new city centre with craft-based public art

Outi Turpeinen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Why is public art connected to city planning significant? How can history inspire public art? This article discusses an ongoing public art project from 2010–2016 (intended completion), which aims to reform a city centre in Tikkurila, Vantaa, Finland. The analysed project is a case study, where the presented craft artists’ methods include new collaborations, processes and ideas when working with industry. The article also intertwines other relevant studies in order to demonstrate the value of working with a team of artists. The aim of this article is to open up the process of how to create a city centre that will encourage people together in their everyday encounters. The article also discusses the benefits of public art. In the artist’s studio, working with various materials is common for many craft artists. What happened when in 2010, four contemporary craft artists were invited to create public art in a city centre, which is originally from the 1950s? In this embedded public art project, the history of the area is being used as a starting point for site-specific artworks that forms a new platform of stories and meanings for the area. This article shows the value of cooperation between multiple actors, such as city officials, public art curators, city-planning consultants, builders, lighting designers, environmental architects and an artist team. The article also discusses the value of working as a team of artists, and especially how the actual group work was vital for this project.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-245
Number of pages15
JournalCraft Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Artist team
  • Artistic cooperation
  • City planning
  • Co-design
  • History as inspiration
  • Material-based art
  • Public art
  • Site-specific art


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