A talk with Nils Norman

Date 05.06.17

Time 6.30 - 8.00pm

Location Arnolfini


Hear artist Nils Norman discuss his Future Perfect public art commission in Hengrove.


Artist Nils Norman works across public art, architecture and urban planning. His projects challenge notions of public art and the efficacy of mainstream urban planning and large-scale regeneration.

Nils Norman will be discussing his Future Perfect public art commission in Hengrove and his broader research into playgrounds, adventure play and city design and how play and playgrounds are being integrated into cities from Japan to Copenhagen as important new public spaces.

Nils was commissioned by Future Perfect to make a work that helped knit together disparate green spaces in the neighbourhood. Pieces of Play (2014) consists of a generous public footpath, a series of discreet play areas that encourage imaginative interaction amongst children, and a new theatre curtain for Hengrove Community Centre that references the history of the neighbourhood and includes a number of drawings by Garth England.

Part of the programme of events in line with the Architecture Centre’s exhibition Murdered with Straight Lines: Drawings of Bristol by Garth England.

£7 (£5 concessions)

Nils Norman

Nils Norman lives in London and works across the disciplines of art, architecture and urban planning. He is interested in ways in which public art can stimulate regeneration. Informed by local politics and developments in alternative economic, ecological systems, Norman’s work merges utopian alternatives with current urban design to create a humorous critique of the discrete histories and functions of public art and urban planning.

Play is an important conceptual and design element in much of his work, which is informed by extensive international research.  He has created a number of playscapes, creative play structures and adventure playgrounds over the past ten years and is particularly interested in the introduction of risk into play.

He has completed major public art projects, including a pedestrian bridge, small playgrounds and a landscaping project for the City of Roskilde in Denmark; has participated in various biennials worldwide and has developed commissions for the Underground and Tate Modern in London, SculptureCenter in Long Island City and Creative Time in New York, and the Centre d’ Art Contemporain in Geneva, Switzerland.

He is currently developing two small-scale urban farming parks in the Hague, the Netherlands and is lead artist for a regeneration scheme in Trumpington, south Cambridge which includes play elements, street furniture, an allotment, community garden and wayfinding. He is also Professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Art and Design, Copenhagen, Denmark, where he leads the School of Walls and Space.

Steven Claydon’s work brings together objects recalling historical artefacts, cultural ephemera and geological samples, skillfully mixing different cultures and periods of history. Merging reality with fiction, and appearing at once meaningful and useless, Claydon’s works oscillate between an idea of truth and fantasy, seeming to offer a fragmented image of a future civilisation’s past. He will talk about his practice and new commission in Bristol.