CHOOSE THE RIGHT COLOUR FOR YOUR PSYCHOPHYSICAL WELLBEING
What do we really know about colours? Can we really distinguish every nuance amidst the different hues? Are you a Smurf Blue and Utah Sky or Sunburst and Spicy Orange? There are so many Pantone colours and the countless gradations of tone are often imperceptible to the inexpert eye. However, there is a colour consultant who can help you choose the best colours for you and for the wellbeing of your dwelling space.
The current increasing demand for human-centered architecture and environmental design has brought into sharp prominence the colour consultant – a professional who has been trained to recognise how ‘functional’ a colour is. Selecting the colour for an environment is particularly important: colours, in terms of sensorial experiences, have a formidable impact on the mind, on the emotions and on the functions of the whole body and interact with other sensorial experiences.
Recent studies have in fact shown that we have a total reaction to colour from both a psychological and physiological point of view. Exposure of the body to colour “hyperstimulation” can bring about physical changes, for example in the respiratory rate and the pulse rate, increased muscle tension and can trigger various types of psychic reactions – stress in particular. There are colours which support breathing (such as orange) or help concentration (such as bright yellow) and colours which mitigate the perception of sounds (such as indigo) and then colours which increase the sense of warmth and excitement (such as blood-orange).
The IACC (International Association of Color Consultants) is present in fourteen countries and is the oldest international association. It was founded in 1957 in the Netherlands by 50 professionals with specialisations in various sectors – philosophy, natural sciences, biology, medicine, anthropology, psychology, physics, colour theory, design, visual ergonomics, architecture, art – with the aim of disseminating design and colour education. The Centre’s philosophy is based on interdisciplinary training, which combines art and science in the “sensitive” design of light and colour.
Massimo Caiazzo is vice-president as well as being editor of the magazine Color Date, colour culture, and has been working for years as a colour consultant.
– Massimo how is your profession organised?
IACC Color Consultants/Designers apply the colour and design philosophy based on the interaction between art and science. Professionals refrain from giving exclusively subjective opinions tied to personal taste and distance themselves from fixed and preconceived ideas. They are aware that colour and light are powerful factors in design.
– In the last few years in particular, so full of stimuli and information to be found on the Internet, what is the social and cultural environment seeking and demanding?
Over the last few years we have seen a renewed interest in colour, not just as a subject which lies at the crossroads between science and art, but also as an invaluable resource for the enhancement and recovery of the territory that will bring real benefits to the quality of life. Colours are strongly linked to geographical, historical, social and political circumstances and this moment offers us hitherto unimaginable possibilities.
– Does the new technology help us consolidate and establish the gradations of tone?
Technological development has had an enormous influence on our culture, encouraging new approaches to colour: today we are faced with a dizzying multiplication of artificial colour stimuli. We can see millions of colours with our computers and likewise with Led lights and nanotechnology coatings, which change colour according to the quality and power of the light. Theoretically we have countless possibilities, but in practice they are limited by the observer’s capacity of visual discrimination or by the nature of the instruments or tools used.
– Can you give us some examples of the significance of colours?
In nature colour is considered first of all as “information” with specific functions such as mimicry, camouflage and conspicuous colouration. Colours relate to every aspect of life and are an invaluable tool for understanding how the human species has evolved by adapting to the territory and culture. Colours stimulate unconscious reactions shared by all human beings. Take for example road signs and wayfinding signage or direction signs in stations and airports, the different reactions provoked by each colour make up the most effective universal language to convey important information.
MASSIMO CAIAZZO Designer and Color Consultant.
Vice-president of IACC (International Association of Color Consultants) and editor of the magazine Color Date, colour culture. He worked from 1990 to 2006 at Atelier Mendini in Milan; from 2003 to 2014 he held the Chromatology professorship at the Academy of Fine Arts in Verona and in Milan. He has also been a teacher of courses on “colour in design” at NABA (New Academy of Fine Arts), at Domus Academy, at the Department of new technologies of the Brera Academy, as well as at the SPD (Polytechnic School of Design). In 2010 he carried out, free of charge, the renovation of colours of the interior of the church of Santa Maria Maggiore at Mirabella Eclano (XI cent.) in the province of Avellino. As Color Consultant he has developed colour studies in various industrial sectors. His works are on display in the collections at the “Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe” in Hamburg, the “Musée des Arts Décoratifs” of the Louvre in Paris and the “Museum 4th Block of ecological art” in Kiev.