Urban Interventions, Graffiti, Public Sculpture

Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Urban Interventions, Graffiti, Public Sculpture

  • Host University

    Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona

  • Location

    Barcelona, Spain

  • Area of Study

    Architecture, Art, Urban Studies and Planning

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Number of sessions: 30
    Length of each session: 1,5 h
    Total length of the module: 45 hours

    This course focuses on how Public Art, Graffiti and Urban Interventions have an important cultural value to a forever developing city. Urban environments with a strong public art expression give communities a stronger sense of place and identity.
    In the first part of the course, students will develop an understanding of the fundamental elements which help us look at and observe painting and sculpture. This foundation will then be used in order to further analyse the content and intentions of Spanish and International artists? work that contribute to a local cultural sense of identity.
    The second part of the programme looks specifically at Public works of art as Urban Interventions with reference to the cityscape of Barcelona (world renowned for its development of urban spaces). In order to maintain the course as close to real artistic practice, there will be scheduled visits to various museums and public spaces.

    - Fluent in English
    - Interest in Art and Culture


    Painting and Sculpture as a Language
    - Understanding the fundamental elements of 2 and 3-dimensional art i.e., perspective, colour, illumination, movement, materials etc...
    - References to the Spanish masters as well as world renown Spanish contemporary artists e.g., Picasso, Dalí, Miró, Jaume Plensa, Juan Muñoz, Joan Brossa, Eduardo Chillida etc?

    Public Sculpture
    - Looking at public spaces that enable art to be an active interpretation, rather than decoration, of the city.
    - Culture and Art used as an aid to transform and modernise a neighbourhood i.e., Raval, Barceloneta, Poblenou neighbourhoods in Barcelona.
    - Analysis of International Contemporary Public Sculpture in Barcelona from 1980 to present.

    Graffiti as Urban Art
    - History of Graffiti and Street Art. It´s artistic response to an urban setting and society.
    - The acceptance and value of Graffiti art in the contemporary art market.
    - Barcelona a world renowned city for its Graffiti art until its Zero Tolerance policy introduced in 2006.

    Urban Interventions
    - From the development of Graffiti and Street Art evolves Urban Interventions, recognised as the most contemporary artwork to reach public space. These mainly spatial interventions bring art to the masses, using the street as a studio and gallery for artistic expression. Urban Interventions are an intelligent and critical commentary on the planning, use, and commercialization of public space.
    - References to Barcelona and International artists.


    - Mid-term exam (25%):
    A mid-term exam will consist of the information that has been explored to date. The exam will consist of multiple choice questions as well as questions related to visual identifications of the fundamental elements in painting and sculpture.

    - Participation and Papers (20%):
    1. A guided visit to a Museum or Commercial Gallery in Barcelona (this changes from each semester depending on what is being exhibited). Students are to select one of the artworks that interest them, and analyse it following the "Analysis of an Artwork" task sheet that will be given to them in class. (min. extension 3pgs - max. extension 5pgs). There are 2 compulsory presentations related to public spaces.

    - Presentations in class (25%):
    1. Students will present on a city walk route, (in a powerpoint presentation) their observations of design, art and culture in Barcelona.
    2. Students will give a presentation on a Public Sculpture in a city of their choice explaining its reference to the city and its location. They are also to research and explain the general ideas and concepts of the artist?s work to date.

    - Final Exam/Paper (30%):
    A research paper is due in on the last day of the course. Students will be able to choose among a range of topics related to the material explored throughout the course. Students will have a month to write the paper. (min extension 10 pgs - max. extension 14 pgs; excluding support images, index, bibliography, etc.).