The debates reflect the diversity of interests and actors (artists, theoreticians, politicians and representatives of municipal administrations, town marketing departments and tourism, and activists). They encompass very disparate yet closely connected modes of discourse.
The Lucerne School of Art and Design is the only institution in Switzerland to have an autonomous facility researching this topic: the research group has proven experience in the conceptualisation and realisation of projects in basic research as well as applied research. The group organises seminars and events on current issues with input from an international network, while numerous publications disseminate its research findings in professional circles and amongst the broader community. The Group also offers services in the area of cultural policy and promotion (consultancy, evaluations, running thematic events), as well as in art interpretation (transcultural education).
The research is closely aligned with learning opportunities: current research topics and projects transfer into the teaching process in many different ways, and specific questions arise directly from the classroom.
The «Art, Design & Public Spheres» research group concentrates on researching three thematic areas:
Art in the public sphere
This research adopts a wealth of strategies to explore the interaction between art and defined public realms. It encompasses the geographical/physical sphere as well as the social, medial and discursive realm.
Within the context of this focal point, the research group is interested in the conditions and contexts that relate to how art is produced and received – whether these be structures, attitudes and ideologies, architectural frameworks and their mental implications, political requirements, or the concept of key categories such as that of the audience.
Current and planned projects explore the educationally and aesthetically virulent interface between culture and creative design (transcultural art education), and develop experimental formats for art interpretation in museum and settings beyond the institution.
Taking the interests and projects of the research group as a starting point, we explore new problems in the form of annual themes. The thematic work takes place with the involvement of an extended circle of professionals and in a variety of formats, including workshops and public events; it results, where appropriate, in a publication. Past annual themes have included New Institutionalism (2013), Paratexts (2014) and Art criticism (2015).