Beta 2 – Selecting the artwork for Beta 1

Just getting some free time to blog this now (thanks again to everyone who came along!) and let you know how the artworks were selected for the Traffic Light Box Artwork Beta.

On a Friday in early May, from 10:30-12:00 a group met (it was by open invitation to anyone who had submitted an artwork and generally to the public via the blog, facebook and twitter) to have an informal chat about…

  1. The form the traffic light box artwork Beta Project might next take (ie learn from this first version, and tweak it next time).
  2. How/who should select artwork submitted and why.

The meeting was held in one of the Beta Area’s hidden gems

Background to the meeting

11 people in total (including 2 DCC staff) were at the meeting.

  1. Welcome
  2. Background to DCC Beta Projects
  3. Discussion of the items raised in emails, facebook, twitter, blog comments by the public.
  4. Discussion of what was felt to be the Identity of the Area
  5. Voting for the artwork
  6. What Next
  7. Close
  8. Tour of the building / Discussion of other Betas (for anyone who wanted to stay longer).

Discussion of the idea of the 1 Identity / 11 Boxes / 111 Euro Traffic Light Box Artwork Beta

We sat in a circle and discussed 3 items…

  • Control/involvement of DCC.
  • Selection process & Quality
  • Payment

Outcomes/Items to Consider in a Future Version:

  1. Group was unsure over whether there should be ‘quality control’ over what goes onto the boxes. Some leaned more towards there being a quality control process of some sort, others felt that it should be left completely free.
  2. There was a suggestion for splitting it 50% ‘controlled’ boxes , 50% ‘free’ boxes as there were pros/cons to each approach.
  3. A question arose around who is responsible for ‘monitoring’ (ie if the artwork is damaged in some way, should it be touched up, or left, and who should do that).
  4. Online panel that rotates
  5. Great to have DCC onboard to remove barriers, frees the artist to do a good piece of work (won’t get moved on, etc).
  6. The group felt that expenses-only was a satisfactory solution. Some noted that some artists might want to stay anonymous (may not even want expenses paid).
  7. Getting work out there was worth it. Proud that artwork is shown.
  8. If artwork is for a long time, it’s worth it.

Some possible Betas for boxes were suggested…

  1. Freely available (potentially multiple artworks)
  2. Available to an artwork for a period.
  3. Available to an artist for a period.

Voting for the artworks…

Each artwork submitted was printed off at A3, along with an anonymised copy of their text explanation, and then each one was given a number (1-15 as there were 15 submissions).

We broke for coffee/tea and briefly discussed each person’s perception of the Identity of the Area (the brief was that the artwork submitted should enhance that). We had earlier discussed quality to a large extent.

Each attendee then voted for what they felt were the best 11 artworks (simple ticks, rather than any hierarchy) in terms of the two criteria – quality and meeting the brief. They were allowed to vote for their own artwork if they wished to (keep it simple), but still had to vote for another 10 artworks (This method works fine for larger numbers – for eg 11 – but wouldn’t for smaller numbers.) The two DCC staff voted the same as everyone else, and represented only 18% of the voting (ie 2 out of 11 attendees).

Each voter had their own sheet, and these were later counted which produced the final list of 11 artworks.


The meeting finished 10 minutes early, and then attendees were free to either leave or stay on to discuss other Beta suggestions, or take a brief tour of the building that we were in (historical/religious mini-museum and the crypts).

Recommendations for future similar events…

  1. Ask people to record their comments onto post-its, which could then be publicly shown (rather than being interpreted as above). (It purely didn’t happen for this event due to ideally having slightly more time to do a really good job on facilitating and recording the discussion.)
  2. It was a small(ish) group. It gave fantastic feedback and suggestions, but it would be worth re-asking the same questions of a much larger group to ensure fair representation.
  3. Overall it seemed to work very well, everyone seemed to really enjoy the event, and the artwork selection appeared to produce good results.

About Dublin City Council beta

Dublin City Council are trying a new method called DCC Beta Projects...your input, then quick trials 'on the street', then your feedback! We'd LOVE your help!
This entry was posted in 1. Identity, Communication & Ownership, Beta Projects. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Beta 2 – Selecting the artwork for Beta 1

  1. kevin says:

    Some of the boxes look great. Some look like an 8 yr old did them. Over all I would say the whole thing is lacking in depth. There could have been a bigger idea. maybe thats just me. I like the idea of the boxes reminding people of a nearby gallery or cultural landmark. something like that. or they could change for festivals around the city and so on. i think they have real opportunity to add to the city.

    • dubcitybeta says:

      Thanks for the comments and ideas Kevin! As a Beta, it’s the feedback and conversation that’s often more important than the actual physical Beta itself. 🙂

      Just for clarity, there are only 2 DCCbeta boxes currently complete, but there were a previous 5 boxes done by Temple Bar Traders (around the Temple Bar area) which DCC Beta spoke to in advance of this Beta and took inspiration from.

  2. I have photographed almost all of the boxes and I like all of what I have seen and while the quality may vary from location to location none of them could be described as being sub-standard. All of the photographs that I have published have attracted a lot of positive comment from all parts of the World and many have expressed a liking for the idea behind the project.
    The photographs can be found at:

  3. Pingback: Alive Alive-O | Dublin City Council Beta Projects

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