Spatial Planning and Design Office develops a comprehensive approach on the field of public art and provides input for public art projects. We base our activities on the principles of inclusivity, accessibility and sustainability. Our goal is to create high-quality and versatile human scale urban environment while supporting accessibility of art and culture.
Our responsibilities include:
- organizing public art open calls, procurements and production;
- managing, consulting and coordinating collaborations with various public institutions, private companies, and cultural organizations;
- leading the Public Art Committee with the purpose of working out and implementing principles for the development of public art, initiating public art projects, and advising large-scale and substantial public art projects;
- carrying out mapping of public art;
- collaboration with City District Governments, Tallinn Culture and Sports Department, Tallinn Environmental and Communal Department, and Tallinn City Planning Department.
For further inquiries contact Kati Ots, Curator of Public Art.
10 Principles for Public Art in Tallinn
The process for commissioning public art should be transparent and all aspects of the selected artworks thoroughly justified. Various forms of commission such as one or two-stage open calls, invitational competitions, etc. should be implemented. All parties should receive an appropriate fee.
Collaboration with experts
The production of an artwork should include collaboration with local as well as international art experts and organisations, including them in the preparatory and decision-making processes.
Holistic public space
Working with the public space surrounding the artworks is an inherent part of the production of public art as well as of supporting their area of influence. Public art improves the quality of the urban environment, providing a holistic spatial experience.
Contemporary formats for public art are encouraged such as temporary installations, spatial interventions, land art, events, etc. In the case of the production of a new artwork, the variety of existing public art formats, mediums, artists, locations and subjects should be considered.
The environmental impact and life cycles of materials should be considered in the case of the production of a new artwork. Local resources as well as recycled and repurposed materials are preferred.
Care and maintenance
Caring for existing artworks, their maintenance and activation is as important as the production of new ones. Necessary maintenance and restoration of the artworks should be carried out consistently and their accessibility and lighting improved.
Attention should be paid to the physical accessibility of public artworks in the urban environment, their surroundings and directions of access. The signage and communication accompanying the artwork provides access to information (therein also for disabled people).
The primary audience for public art in Tallinn are the local inhabitants. Local communities should be included in at least one of the stages in the production of an artwork. Public artworks should suit with the local cultural context.
The process for commissioning public art should implement the principles of equal treatment, considering all the important criteria for social equality.
Public art should be accompanied by a variety of media (e.g. signage, audioguide, webpage, tours, etc.) that support the artworks and elaborate on their significance. Consistent mapping of public art, public discussion, contextualisation and the reassessment of requirements is essential.
- Green Tracks installation competition (status: installation opened November 2, 2023)
- Pollinator Highway installation competition 'Place Buzz' (status: installations opened September 3, 2022)
- Poetry Trail (status: opened June 16, 2022)
- Maakri Art Project (status: opened June 22, 2022)
- Public Art Principles (status: published October 7, 2022)
- Public art database and online map (status: second stage will be completed in 2024)
- Ahtri Art Project (status: installation will be opened in spring 2024)
- Kalamaja Cat August (status: sculpture will be opened in 2023/2024)