When Kinji Akagawa designs a piece of public art, he takes into account that nature and humanity will overtake his original design. Wood will age and rot, vines will grow over the pergola, birds will poop on it. Once you finish something, a piece of art or other, do you ever think of it changing over time? How does that make you feel? Is the art you complete “finished” once you are done with it; or does it take on another life after you are out of the picture? Also, how does Akagawa incorporate a sense of play or playfulness into his pieces? How would you express yourself using Akagawa’s type of art? What would you want to say and how would you say it?

Akagawa created the pergola at Normandale College to unite the existing building and a garden. He explained several of the reasons behind the design elements. Find an existing building and design a piece of public art that helps it to unite with the natural elements around it. Be able to explain the elements of your design.

The bench at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden was created to be more than just a physical rest, but also an intellectual and emotional rest as well. Design a public bench that represents Minnesota, and that also creates more than just a “physical rest.”