What is the significance of "art and architecture" in today's world?
We live in a world where municipalities, real estate developers, and urban planners recognize the importance of art. New construction standards – such as for sustainable construction – have been expanded in recent years to reflect sociocultural aspects. In today's world, "art and architecture" play an integral and essential role in modern district and urban planning, in the same way as sustainability and environmental considerations.
How has "art and architecture" evolved in recent years?
There has been a real boom from the 1990s onwards, partly down to increasing construction activity. I am delighted that people who had never previously engaged with art are getting involved with accessible art projects in less urban areas.
Which properties are particularly suited to this purpose?
Essentially, art is possible anywhere and everywhere, whatever its form. From an investor's point of view, buildings in their own portfolio are of particular interest – incorporating art into a property adds value.
Where can we see this added value?
Art adds emotions to a property and makes it more recognizable. The art in the Octavo building in Zurich – with pieces by sculptor Anselm Stalder – receives an almost unanimously enthusiastic response. The fact is that art can enrich the spaces we live in. These days, many people enjoy living in urban surroundings that are enhanced with art. Real estate developers are aware that tenant turnover is lower if the setting hits the right notes in terms of urban design.
Can this added value also be quantified?
That's a difficult question to answer. The length of the tenancy is one indicator. In public spaces, the frequency of visits can be used to draw conclusions. When art is displayed in healthcare settings, for example, scientific evidence indicates that people are more likely to reflect on their situation in life, feel a sense of positivity, and ultimately enjoy a speedier recovery.
Not all artworks inspire everybody. Many people find some pieces annoying. What would you say to them?
Art can do anything, apart from fail to provoke a response. Art should raise questions, trigger discussions, provoke reflection, and elicit emotions – and yes, even irritate people. That's the intention. Art only fulfills its purpose if it provokes a reaction. This is what gives the object a seal of quality. In other words, if art in and around properties elicits emotions, then it is "good" art.
Who decides which artists are considered?
The decision isn't down to one individual. As project manager, I lead a collaborative process where I work with the client and other stakeholders to develop the artistic vision and framework conditions. These then determine whether regional, national, or international artists are considered for the project in question, as well as potential themes and art forms. The final selection is made together. This approach is markedly different from the situation 50 years ago, when making decisions about works of art in and on buildings was reserved for a small group of influential people.
What do you hope will be the future of real estate art?
That it becomes a matter of course again – like it was from classical antiquity through to modern times. We should engage once again with the unpredictable and often priceless nature of contemporary art as part of our everyday lives.