Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

This week is one of the most colorful holidays of the year! Thanksgiving isn't just a feast of food its a treat for all the senses. To do our  Thanksgiving part we wanted to bring you a color side dish to spice up you Thanksgiving table! 

A Riot of Color via Design Sponge
Oranges, deep reds and browns have long been the traditional colors of Fall and Thanksgiving. But contemporary design has mixed in  unconventional  colors and patterns to modernize the autumnal  palette.  Fresh greens and brights pinks liven up this table for a effervescent harvest feel. The meal is served on a joyous and energetic slate. 
Thanksgiving Kids Table via Sweet Design
With the right use of color the kids table is no longer a second class seat. Who wouldn't love sitting at this colorful and creative place setting. The right colors bring out the celebratory feeling of the holiday and add to all the wonderful things we  have to be grateful for.

DIY Paper Lantern via Martha Stewart's Crafts Department
If you are someone who likes to make the magic themselves this is a great leafy autumn lamp project to hang over your beautiful feast. Hand made projects add festive detail to a meal and a day made with love and gratitude. And while our own tables may be more focused on chocolate cake and turkey it nice to see the riot of color one of our favorite holidays inspires!

Need a great place to take a nap after all the festivities? Architizer has a list of ten beautiful spots to curl up. Have a great Thanksgiving!

- Emily Eifler, Writer, Colour Studio
- Jill Pilaroscia, Principal, Colour Studio

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Superkilen Park a Blaze of Color

A colorful new urban park has been completed in Denmark. The kilometer long park is located just north of Copenhagen city center. The press release describes the area as "one of the most ethnically diverse and socially challenged neighborhoods in Denmark."
Superkilen Park via World Architecture News

The park is separated in to three areas. A large sporting green, a black and white themed square for playing chess or having lunch, and a stunning red orange zone for recreational or cultural activities. The park is  populated by over a hundred cultural objects from around the world that reflect the diversity of the surrounding community. Beyond the  integration of the cultural milieu surrounding the area the park is a stellar example of color usage in urban planning. The three spaces of the park are colored specifically for their intended  usage. The sporting area is green for obvious reasons. But the other two spaces have intention and color psychology behind them.

SuperKilen via Big

In the black and white area there are sweeping lines painted on the ground reminiscent of traffic flow or  topographical elevation patterns. This public space is designed to allow people to  mix and mingle. Its a shared space in an area in need of lowering barriers. It is sparsely sprinkled with trees, benches, tables and includes a quirky  childrens playground.   There is an open spacious feel to the area and the neutral color  palette allows the people to be the attraction. 

Superkilen via Romex

The red orange space is filled with a high velocity patch work of color. From above the reds, oranges, and pinks seem to spill out over everything, catching buildings and bike paths and benches. It is a bright visual beacon surrounded by blues and grays. The color helps draw eyes toward the park and gives people an energy boost. A happy, creative, active space seems like just the thing this neighborhood needs. A park cannot fix all cultural disparities of course, but hopefully Superkilen will get residents interacting and more urban planners on the color train! It so beautiful we want one in San Francisco too!

- Emily Eifler, Writer, Colour Studio
- Jill Pilaroscia, Principal, Colour Studio

Monday, November 5, 2012

Chinese color symbology

When thinking about color for modern architecture we often turn to color theory and studies on the effects of color on psychology to support the function of the space. While these methods are effective and work well for the modern system it hasn't always been the way color was chosen for buildings. 

For thousands of years cultural color symbolism had supremacy over the aesthetics or function of color. A great example of symbolism as the dominate paradigm is 14th and 15th century Chinese architecture. Architects of the time were very concerned with color. Colors acted as cultural sign posts.

Imperial Yellow via Wikipedia

Examples of   using color  for delineation  are  the Temple of Heaven and the Forbidden City. The two spaces were identified for different uses by their roof color. Imperial color at the time was a strong distinct yellow and  the Forbidden City was all given distinctive  yellow tile roofs,  the architectural element  reserved for buildings built for the Emperor of China. The roof and figurative ornamentation distinguished the buildings as having the highest status. The symbolic color  can be seen from great distances and thus indicated the seat of power without written signs or Google maps.
High Status Yellow Roof  via Wikipedia
Temple of Heaven via Wikipedia
The Temple of Heaven, or more literally translated the Alter of Heaven, in contrast to Imperial Yellow,  was built using rich sky blue tiles. Blue was the symbolic color of the gods.  In a comparatively advanced and literate society color was  used to delineate city structures. The buildings were essentially color coded. A beautiful large format panorama of the Temple of Heaven can be seen here.

Blue Temple of Heaven roof via Mondo

- Emily Eifler, Writer, Colour Studio
- Jill Pilaroscia, Principal, Colour Studio