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Public Art


Martinoli Stebler S.

Course director

Pennati L.



The relationship between artist and architect has a very long tradition, but it was in the 1930s that, in the United States and then Europe, the artistic work related to the architectural project and the public space became essential. In various countries, the idea of ​​allocating a percentage of the cost of creating public buildings to artistic interventions was drafted into law. Despite the numerous significant works, the discipline of the “percent for art” has often supported traditional artistic expressions and has been repeatedly the object of criticism and redefinition. 

In the post-war period, experiments explored other forms of collaboration between artists and architects, embodied in quality works involving major figures in the history of art and architecture. 

Today, new methods are being experimented with in the public art sector, with the aim of involving different disciplinary fields and the citizens themselves.


The aim is to provide students with a new awareness of the presence of public art in their everyday context, as well as to illustrate possibilities and opportunities to integrate architecture with art.

Teaching mode

In presence

Learning methods

In class, lectures alternate with targeted exercises that are carried out in small groups. These provide an opportunity to test the knowledge acquired and to understand the different implications through a concrete approach.

Methods for learning include studying on notes taken during lectures, on lecture slides, on readings and reflecting on the outcome of the exercises. The essential bibliography is part of the learning material. Participation in class discussions is strongly recommended. The field trip is an integral part of the course and provides study material for the exam.

Examination information

The exam is conducted orally and is structured in two parts:

1) Presentation of a topic related to the course;

2) General questions on the course programme.


PREREQUISITE: Although the exam can be completed in German, English and/or French, understanding Italian is a basic requirement for the course.




Study trips

  • Half-day trip in the Ticino region, 14.04.24 - 14.04.24 (Compulsory)