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Proceedings Paper

RED or READ: the built environment is colored
Author(s): Dianne Smith
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Paper Abstract

How important is color in the design of our built environment? Prototypes and massing models for designs are often presented in white or monochromatic combinations, irrespective of the materials incorporated and the colors that may be applied in the final constructed building, interior or object. Therefore, it is of interest to identify the way color is positioned by designers in how they go about the business of making environments. The built environment is understood by the designers and design researchers generally in one of four fields - as object, as product, as communicator, or as social domain. In addition, Franz identified four conceptions of designing held by designers - the experiential conception, the structural conception, the production conception and the retail conception. Fashion and style are often associated with color in a local context and may simply be applied to the physical environment because it is in fashion, rather than because of what it communicates more broadly. It is assumed that the integration of color in the built environment is influenced by these understandings. In order to address color's position in the design process and the importance of color in relation to space, form, and the experience of place, a selection of Queensland architects and interior designers were surveyed. The study is not conclusive, however, it does identify differences and commonalities between the participants that are of interest in light of the above issues. Explorations into environmental meaning, in addition to color theory and decorative applications, are hypothesized to be important sources of information for designers involved in the coloration of the built environment.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 June 2002
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 4421, 9th Congress of the International Colour Association, (6 June 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.464627
Show Author Affiliations
Dianne Smith, Queensland Univ. of Technology (Australia)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4421:
9th Congress of the International Colour Association
Robert Chung; Allan Rodrigues, Editor(s)

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