photo credits: Urban Col.labs


What story can art tell us about a place? How can we quantify the impact of public art on the city and its residents with the use of geospatial data? How much Public Art does a city need to increase the quality of life? How can we use geospatial data to better curate Public Art and creative industries in the city?

This course is an exploration into the influence of public art on cities and public space. It goes beyond aesthetics to investigate how art contributes to the physical, emotional, and social well-being of city dwellers. Moreover, it delves into the pivotal role of big data in understanding, quantifying, and enhancing the relationship between art and quality of life. Throughout this course, students will be encouraged to explore new and creative ways of understanding and utilizing big data in the public and street arts realm. We will explore data as a tool for urban storytelling, and how it can also be converted into a physical form of expression through data powered expression in the arts.


Learning Objectives

At course completion the student will:

  • Critical thinking and creative ways of analysis data and finding correlations.
  • Have an understanding of urban design guidelines development process and objectives.
  • Be able to build a powerful project proposal and a storyline to pitch their projects and ideas with the use of data and mapping.
  • Develop graphic and presentation skills.


Projects from this course

Art on air

Introduction Air quality is a problem in many cities around the world, yet it remains largely invisible to the naked eye. This reality struck us deeply when the four of us, having lived in Barcelona, Lagos, Bangkok, and Medellin – our four cities of origin – came together. Amidst our diverse backgrounds and experiences, we … Read more

‘Gotta Catch ’em All’

Co-design & Experience Platform for Public Art as part of Data, Art and the City (5-day workshop led by Leyla Saadi) Adapted from Pokemon-Go, we propose the development of a place-based app that pops the City of Toronto’s public art scene, drives interest and support for local public art and artists, and co-designs future public … Read more

What is creativity?

Creativity is often seen as the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations. But, can we confine its vastness to mere definitions? Furthermore, can the creative output of cities be quantified? A notable attempt to do so was made Inkifi. They composed a data based ranking … Read more

The Future of Public Art

In the ever-evolving field of urban development, “The Future of Public Art” sets out to be a project that reimagines the role and impact of art in public spaces. At its core, the project seeks to quantify the value of public art through a systematic approach, anchored in three fundamental pillars: democracy, contextuality, and insightfulness. … Read more