22 July Memorial Sørbråten, 2014-2017. Illustration Jonas Dahlberg Studio.


What we call “public space”—and the activities that occur within it—are increasingly surveilled, politicized, and privatized. What does this mean when public spaces have throughout history served as important sites in shaping how, when, and where people relate to each other within a society? What role does art have within these spaces?

For a long time art in public space has had a reputation of being large scale, mostly decorative objects placed outdoors. Yet if we recognize and explore the changes that are occurring in public space, and marry that with emphasizing the knowledge, methods, and values that art and related practices create, then we enter into a far more interesting, and consequential arena for both art and public space.

As artist Sharon Hayes has said, “Anything that happens in Public Space actually happens.”

The course will focus on artistic values and practice-based thinking/making as a means to explore the significant role art can have within the realm of public space. To take a seat at this table is a complex task when faced with various regulations, public policies, profit-driven interests, as well as differing goals, attitudes and aesthetics. Participants will consider, discuss and work on actual projects in order to gain knowledge from experience in dealing with the complexities of making work for and in the public.

Practical information

OF PUBLIC INTEREST is a one-year interdisciplinary course intended for those with experience in art, architecture, landscape architecture and other relevant fields. It is not a merit for an applicant to have previous experiences in working with art in the public space.

The course hopes to gather a diverse group of people working with different approaches, as we believe different backgrounds and life experiences will enrich the learning experience and add an important quality to the course and the discussions that will be held within it. The ideal participants are those with strong artistic integrity, abilities in critical thinking, and an interest in working with others to develop projects in an interdisciplinary setting with peer to peer learning.

OF PUBLIC INTEREST is structured with the aim of having participants, individually and collaboratively, create and develop new projects. To facilitate this, the course will have established collaborations with external partners within the fields of art and architecture who are interested in exploring the possibility of realizing actual projects. 

The course is divided into two semesters during one academic year. The first term will focus on creating interdisciplinary projects in smaller group settings, conducted with an external collaborator. The second term will focus on the production of individually developed projects. Each semester has six mandatory blocks of five days each with intensive programming that includes workshops, lectures, seminars, site visits, group discussions and the participants’ own projects. Between the course blocks the participants are expected to independently continue to develop work and research.

Read more: Course Syllabus


Admission requirements for the course are a Master’s degree in art, architecture, landscape architecture or another relevant field. Candidates who do not possess a degree are invited to apply by documenting experience equivalent to a Master’s degree. The selection will be made based on an application that includes work samples, a motivation letter and CV.

If you do not have a formal education in accordance with the stated course requirements, you must show that you meet the requirements through a validation process of prior learning. In order to claim competence through prior learning, objectives as set out in the Higher Education Ordinance for an artistic master’s degree must be fulfilled. Read more here. The applicant is responsible for submitting relevant documents which can be analysed in relation to the stated course requirements.

Information about entry requirements for a Master’s degree.

Application closes: Tuesday 5 May 2020, 23:59.

The Royal Institute of Art is public institution and it is free for participants that reside in Europe. Non-European residents can apply for a scholarship that cover the annual fee required for non-European residents.


The course will be led by artist and Guest Professor Jonas Dahlberg.

Contact: jonas.dahlberg@kkh.se or studera@kkh.se.