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MA Eco-Social Design: Project 2 by Anu Hakola, Sarah Solderer & Mara Vöcking | SS 2021

Notterna. Art walk through peripheries

Notterna, an art night walk through Don Bosco, brings an embodied experience of art back into society. The seven stations include multimedia artworks by members of the Südtiroler Künstlerbund and art students of the University of Bolzano.


Notterna, an art night walk through the Don Bosco district of Bolzano, is a project by three students of the Eco-Social Design master program, Sarah Solderer, Anu Hakola, and Mara Vöcking, in collaboration with the South Tyrolean Artists' Association (SKB). After the long pandemic, art and culture have moved to last priority. Notterna brings the embodied experience of art back into society. The SKB has raised the question of how to make art more visible in our society. What moved us was the idea of making art a relevant part of our society to support and promote cultural change. In doing so, we wanted to make artistic experiences accessible to everyone.

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Goals and challenges

Notterna, an eternal night, aims to shift the experience of art from an indoor venue to a public space. The social goal was to allow everyone to participate in cultural events and bring a different perspective to the neighborhood. For the first night walk, we chose the most densely populated district of Bolzano, Don Bosco, which is far from the tourist city center and is characterized by its cultural diversity. The main challenge was to understand how to move within the strict rules caused by the current pandemic and how to get permission to perform in public places.

On May 28th, 2021, the night walk Notterna was performed. This evening led visitors and passers-by through seven different stations equipped with multimedia artworks.The numerous visitors were guided from station to station by a tour guide performance, creating positive interactions with the artworks and the surrounding neighborhood. The evening resonated with a wide variety of age groups and also invited passers-by to participate. Notterna proved to be a great success and has the potential to become a regular event for various neighborhoods.


The Research
The project started with different methods of design research focusing on ethnography, observation, and body-storming. A study of the environment of Prisma Gallery, which is part of SKB, showed that closed spaces are a barrier to art. Thus, we followed with the intervention in public space, by being an observing artwork. People reacted curiously, but rather hastily and shyly. A body-storming walk at night exposed the hidden side of the city, where sounds come to the fore, people come to rest, and things are illuminated by spotlights. The evaluation of this research led us to design a night walk that transforms the city at night into an open stage and studio.



We see collaborative walking from station to station as the opposite of rushing, as a way to explore and open creative thinking, to be present where we are by taking time to play with ideas. Walking allows us to notice what is happening around us, connects us to ourselves, connects our bodies to the earth and the surroundings.

We invited artists that fit our concept of a participative and interactive night walk to a co-design workshop where we developed the nightwalk further through an exploratory walk, prototyping and other visualization tools.

We designed a logo for the event, which was printed on flags and bags. Each participant of the night walk received a bag with a flyer at the beginning. The flyer contained the most important information for the participants and connected the different stations of the artists visually for the viewer. It created an overview of the event and thus supported the storytelling of the evening. We build foldable stools that we customized to our needs from an open-source file. In the end, the materialized artifacts were supporting parts of the event notterna, which ties everything together. 

The event of notterna itself was temporary creative placemaking by the artists who were visiting the area with their exhibitions. Our goal connects to the definition of Creative Placemaking to institutionalize arts, culture, and creative thinking in all aspects of the built environment.

In our project arts, cultural and creative thinking is seen as a public and accessible cultural asset. The night walk as a whole aimed to provide a live experience and build the structures for creative people to express themselves. It was a way to awaken curiosity when a place is temporarily changed by art.

"Josefina Sundblad, Luisa Pisetta, Chiara Duchi: Reification, an Improvisational Performance"


Anu Hakola,
Sarah Solderer,
Mara Vöcking

Teaching Team:
David Calas (Object–Spaces–Services)
Kris Krois (Communication–Interaction–Services)
Secil Ugur Yavuz (Design Research)
Marie Beuthel (Social Interaction Design)

Südtiroler Künstlerbund

Supporters  & Stakeholders:
Lungomare Co-Carts
Dachverband für Natur & Umweltschutz
Officine Vispa