Motoyama, Y., & Hanyu, K.
Motoyama, Y., & Hanyu, K. (2014). Does public art enrich landscapes? The effect of public art on visual properties and affective appraisals of landscapes. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 40, 14–25. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2014.04.008
The present study investigated the effects of public art on visual properties and affective appraisals of landscapes. Undergraduate and graduate students sequentially viewed landscapes with or without public art and rated each one for visual properties and affective appraisals. Study 1 revealed that the presence of public art reduced pleasantness of the natural scene, but did not reduce that of the urban scene. In Study 2 focusing on the urban landscapes, the t-tests showed that public art consistently yielded greater arousal and the visual properties related with arousal level (e.g., complexity), whereas for pleasantness and the visual properties related with pleasantness (e.g., legibility) the scores varied with the public artworks. Adopting the experimental design that systematically combined 4 landscapes with 2 pieces of public art, Study 3 revealed that the affective quality of public art had more influence on the landscapes than the compatibility between public art and the landscapes.
This study explores the relationship between the provision of public art in public spaces with perceptions of "pleasantness" and arousal among observers. Results indicate that the the addition of public art to both "natural" and "urban" settings increased arousal, but the degree to which the "pleasantness" of the space changed (positive or negative) depended upon the relationship between the art and the respective setting (i.e., the pleasantness of the natural scene decreased, but not the urban scene). As such, the authors contend that the character of the art in various public settings will determine how it relates to legibility, openness, and pleasantness.
Description of method used in the article
Three studies (N = 24, N = 114, and N = 94) but all of which included university students viewing images projected onto a screen and responding to survey items. Images of "urban" and "natural" environments with and without public art in place. Survey items related to how (a) pleasant and (b) arousing each image was. Repeated measures designs.
Of some practical use if combined with other research