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Design and Architecture Norway

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The reopening of a discontinued bakery on the shopping street in Vardø, art as a catalyst for increased retail trend in Haugesund, art and technology in public spaces in Tromsø and a wooden installation aimed to contributing to new future initiatives for Lærdal centre are a few of the projects that have received funding from KORO’s KOM scheme (Kunst i kommunale og fylkeskommunale anlegg - Art in municipal and country municipal sites).

According to Truls Ramberg, KORO curator responsible for the scheme, it is no longer controversial to the same degree to talk about art as a catalyst or a means to achieve an objective.

“Traditionally, art in public space has revolved around the embellishment of large buildings. Many of today’s artists have a strong focus on place and involvement, while the public sector is highly focused on inclusive cities with a high quality of life. The time has definitely come to think about art and urban development within the same context,” explains Ramberg.

Kvinne maler bilde på vegg
The Municipality of Lærdal wants to work together with artists to develop the city centre and make it vibrant and appealing to residents and visitors alike. The picture shows artist Ingeborg Andersskog at a drawing performance in Lærdal in the summer of 2016. Photo: Tone Boska

Wood and future initiatives for Lærdal

Lærdal has chosen to use art to create new life in the beautiful old wooden buildings for which it is so well known.

“The funding from KORO will be used to develop ideas on how wood as a material can be used in new ways when upgrading and developing the town square and creating meeting places in the historic wooden structures of the Gamle Lærdalsøyri district of the town. The goal is to increase local knowledge of wood as a material, while at the same time inspiring new ideas and ambitions for the future among residents and local parties,” says Tone Boska.

Boska is the Project Manager for Lærdal in the Sparkling Spaces DOGA project.

Like Lærdal, Tromsø and Arendal are pilot municipalities in the Sparkling Spaces project, while Haugesund is part of the expanded network. KORO is represented in the project reference group, together with a number of other parties.

“It’s fantastic that municipalities are using art as a catalyst”

Art and urban development

CEO of DOGA Trude Gomnæs Uglestad has extensive experience in the art world and feels strongly about the multiplier effect between urban development and art.

“KORO’s focus on art as part of urban development can benefit not only residents, but also the business community, municipalities and the artists themselves. I think it’s fantastic that our Sparkling Spaces municipalities are using art as a catalyst in their work to develop their city centres,” she states.

On 16 and 17 February, KORO will be arranging the Public Art and Urban Development conference in Tromsø, during which a range of projects from Norway and internationally will be presented within the context of urban development. The conference brings together commissioning parties, urban developers, culture planners and other important art-related contributors to public space. The goal is to help increase understanding and create a better basis for using art as a catalyst in urban development.

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