Public Art Forms For Designers Cultural Studies Essay

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Art increasingly employs in outdoor spaces design under rubric of "Public Art". Public art contains all visual artistic expressions in urban design from the traditional models (sculpture and mural) to artistic design street furniture, and facades . Public art in any forms takes a number of roles in the environmental, social, economic, and psychological aspects . Repeatedly, public art's advocators have claimed to "develop senses of identity, develop senses of place, contribute to civic identity, address community needs, tackle social exclusion, possess educational value and promote social change" . Besides, people will enjoy of their daily life through growing art in the cities . The audiences of public art are people that used that place. Therefore, in any artistic design project the role of its audience is important key to success.

Disregard of the public preferences and their dissatisfaction cause the behaviour problems in public space. They are explained as littering, drug use, crime, and the traffic violations and vandalism that menace a number of artistic designs. In public art, usually studies focused on its claims and the role of people preferences for public art forms is ignored. In addition, there are few researches that investigated the favourite forms of public art between designers and non-designers. In fact, the failure of public art derived of shortage studies on preference and perception of its audiences. Thus, it is necessary for designers to be informed of public preferences to design in such way that it would be delightful in public and their own eyes either .

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What the paper has been set out to explore is investigation in the reaction of designers and non-designers for this important element of urban design. In this comparison study, the similarities and dissimilarities of respondents for three most favoured public art forms are identified. To do this, a variety of public art forms were taken from literature review including the installation artworks that placed in public spaces, the artistic design urban furniture, and those architectural elements that contribute in landscape design presented. The attitudes of both groups to these outdoor art elements design is explored and discussed.

BACKGROUND OF STUDY

In spite of the significant role of public art's audience, there are a few empirical studies that focused on it. There are several researches that indicated the lack of studies about public preferences for public art . However, the most public art researches were based on its claims which are not limited but contain urban redevelopment , the social impacts of public art on community heath , its financial benefits in commercial , and its role in mitigation planning of freeway .

In architectural studies, the similarities and dissimilarities between experts and non-experts are broadly discussed. Since the late 1960s, there was this question for researchers which whether the preferences of architects are differ from non architects or not . was the first researcher to seek intergroup differences . Reliable evidence indicated the existence of differs between these two groups . The theory of evaluation just based on architectures is rejected yet architectures disregard public opinions for this reason that their uninformed of the best and denial their opinions . The post jury and public evaluation for selection of the winner of the best fitting architectural form for the centre of Visual Arts are compared by . Similarly, its results indicated the architects' preference is the least preferred by public and it is in the level of third or fourth out of five. Accordingly, the architectural theories of experts prevent to recognize what public like and prefer.

The reasons of difference between professionals and non professionals have been highlighted in several articles. Their preferences have diverged in accordance with professional standards that architects have been trained in schools . This training prevents of diffuse professionals' evaluation as a one group while the individual differences within public group make more heterogeneous appraisals . The Architects and lay public react to environments with different terms and laymen relay on their experiential qualities. Evidence of this justification is provided by that compared the psychology students with landscape students. In evaluation of garden's properties, the former used more simple and straightforward terms positively, but the more elaborate commentary employed by designer students. The present study employs to find out the extent of their similarities and dissimilarities for public art forms.

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

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To establish our research we review those architectural studies that concentrated on the opinions of architects and laypersons for facades such as . So, we rely on theoretical and methodological aspects of these studies for exploration of similarities and difference both groups.

Participants

The participants both designers and non-designers who took part in this study were Iranian students in Malaysian universities. To have a big enough sample size we collect or data from four international Malaysia universities (UTM, UPM, UKM and Limkokwing). Participants were chosen based on their familiarity to site and subject as well as their willingness to participation. Furthermore, in designers group, post graduate levels of study with practical experience were compulsory conditions. With these limitations in the selection of respondents, the totals of 109 respondents, 40 designers and 69 non-designers in each group were selected between ages 18 to 56 (Table 1). Designers were post graduate students of landscape architectures, architectures, and urban planners in different years. Non-designers group are selected with different education level and background without any knowledge on designing.

Table 1 Participants Distribution

Participants

Number

Percent

Designer

40

37%

Male

23

21%

Female

17

16%

Non-designer

69

63%

Male

43

39%

Female

26

24%

Procedure

The study conducted in April 2010 between designers and non-designers' students. Interviews took place one by one in the places of participants. At the beginning the aim of research explained by interviewers and respondents guided for filling up the questionnaire. Filling the forms were supervised where the interviewer make sure that participants understand the procedure of filling correctly.

Questionnaire

The questionnaire contains two parts. The first one was related to individual information of respondents like age, gender, education, and their faculty. The second part had just one question to identify those forms that closely associated with "Public Art". It was necessary to all respondents to indicate three most preferred public art forms from a list of 9 elements presented in questionnaire as "3" was the most preferred type, "2" and "1" were second and third their preferences.

RESULT AND DISCUSSION

The main question of this research is exploration of similarities and dissimilarities of designers and non designers' preferences for public art forms. To answer this, three methods have been used through SPSS (16.0) including clustering, descriptive statistic and two tailed significant operator.

The clustering method is used on the data obtained from the questionnaire to found that whether the participants' appraisals are recognized differently from each other or not. The clustering function is TwoStep Cluster Analysis where all the variables standardized by SPSS and clustering criterion function is Schwarz's Bayesian Criterion (BIC) and distance measurement is based on log-likelihood. The result shows (Table 2) that designers and non designers are separated completely in such a way that 100% of non designers are in cluster one and 100% of designers are in cluster 2. This clustering method is based on the 9 public art forms as variables and highlights the significant difference between these two groups.

Table 2 Clustering Between Designers and Non-designers

Frequency

Percent

Cluster 1

Designer

0

.0%

Non-designer

69

100.0%

Cluster 2

Designer

40

100.0%

Non-designer

0

.0%

Table 3 displays the preferences of designers and non designers separately for each variable base on the participant's first choice, second choice or third choice. The overall column in Table 3 shows the percentage of appearance of public art form in any choices. Table 3 is sorted by the overall column of the designer's preferences.

Designers are similar to non designers in three ways. Façade is the most popular public art form in both groups as their first choice or overall percentage of preference. Urban sculpture is one of the three most common preferred public art forms between these two groups. Moreover signs and relief have the least preference percentage for both groups. However in other forms of public art the preferences of designers and non designers are different.

Table 3 Preference Percentage Based on Different Variables

Overall

First Choice

Second Choice

Third Choice

Façade

Designer

32%

58%

30%

6%

Non designer

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23%

32%

16%

22%

Urban Furniture

Designer

21%

10%

23%

31%

Non designer

12%

9%

12%

14%

Urban Sculpture

Designer

17%

23%

15%

14%

Non designer

16%

14%

17%

17%

Billboard, Banner, Poster

Designer

13%

3%

5%

33%

Non designer

13%

13%

14%

10%

Patterns on Paving Stones

Designer

5%

3%

8%

6%

Non designer

8%

6%

12%

6%

Topiary

Designer

4%

0%

8%

6%

Non designer

12%

16%

6%

14%

Mural

Designer

3%

5%

5%

0%

Non designer

7%

4%

12%

4%

Signs

Designer

3%

0%

5%

3%

Non designer

6%

4%

7%

6%

Relief

Designer

2%

0%

3%

3%

Non designer

4%

1%

4%

6%

Many differences between designers and non-designers preference could be found in Table 3. Although façade is the most preferred form, the percentage of its acceptance is not close between groups. The item of topiary that never paid attention by designers (0%) as their first choice has considerable preference (16%) by non designers. Once again, this variance is extensive in advertisement banner as first selection (13%) of non designers and (3%) for designers. These results indicate that each group was differently preferred variables and are differ in the row of their preference. It is also notable that the mass of designers' preferences are concentrated in three items of façade, urban sculpture, and urban furniture. In contrast, the preferences of non designers are divided into all variables. The diversity of non-designers opinions is simply ostensible. This diffuse of non designers' preferences is related to individual differences and also to background and level of education.

To explore the differences between two groups and identify a similar preferred form, the Independent sample T test as compare means tool is used (Table 4). The result is sorted based on Sig. (2-tailed) value (descending) as well as t value, mean difference and standard error difference. Through this, the similarities and dissimilarities of designers and non designers' preferences for the public art preferred forms are appeared. The Sig. value (p < 0.05) demonstrates significant difference between two groups. These noticeable disagreements are emerged for the variables of, topiary, façade and also in urban furniture (Just 0.01 more than 0.05). In comparison with other variables urban sculpture has the greatest significant value which means the highest correlation between two groups. To sum up, although façade is the first preferred public art form in both designer and non designer groups, urban sculpture has the biggest value of similarity of being in first, second and third choice for both groups.

Table 4 T Test Results to Explore the Significant of Difference

 

 

t

Sig. (2-tailed)

Mean Difference

Std. Error Difference

Urban Sculpture

-0.61

0.54

-0.14

0.23

Mural

0.94

0.35

0.16

0.17

Patterns on Paving Stones

1.12

0.27

0.19

0.17

Relief

1.13

0.26

0.11

0.10

Signs

1.51

0.13

0.21

0.14

Billboard, Banner, and Poster

1.56

0.12

0.31

0.20

Urban Furniture

-1.93

0.06

-0.39

0.20

Topiary

2.81

0.01

0.54

0.19

Facade

-3.96

0.00

-0.88

0.22

In our research, the agreements and disagreements of designers and non designers' preferences for public art forms investigated. The findings show that urban sculpture is the similar favourite form between two groups. The criterion for the future research is covering the similarities and dissimilarities of designers and non designers for types of this special preferred. The results increase the designer's knowledge of non designer's preference and include in their design.