Katri Sofia Konttinen

Place is an intriguing concept. It is often at the core of applied visual art actions, which can be related, for example, to environmental and community arts and design. Applied visual art can also support sustainable development by increasing the awareness of environments (Huhmarniemi, 2012). At the core of this is collaboration and communication between people and the environments. The Arctic spreads geographically across eight northern countries including Finland. The Arctic is researched and discussed from various perspectives in arts and design in northern Finland. The Lapland University Consortium (LUC) has been profiled as a leader in Arctic research and competence focusing on global Arctic responsibility, sustainable tourism, future services and reachability. Arctic art and design intertwine in studies at the University of Lapland. Rovaniemi is well known for Arctic design and different events such as Arctic Design Week (Rytilahti, 2020). However, there is need for better discussion about the Arctic. This chapter approaches this discussion by observing how art and design-based actions with a place-specific approach could contribute to the discussion of increasing awareness and knowledge on the Arctic. What could be achieved through methods that aim towards deepening our understanding of places and environments? The chapter observes the topic through art and design-based actions, which have taken place between 2012-2020. The examples present actions combined through utilizing a place-specific and multisensory approach to environments with methods rising from community art, environmental art, and design – all these meeting under the label of applied visual arts and aim for creating connections and enabling dialogue towards increasing knowledge and awareness of places.

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