“Seldom, surely, is the psychological part of an appearance in nature so great as it is in the case of color.  No one can encounter it and stay neutral.  We are immediately, instinctively, and emotionally moved.  We have sympathy or antipathy, pleasure or disapproval within us as soon as we perceive colors.”

by Beer

Colors activate our thoughts and cognitive mechanisms at the same time.  Color preference can be very personal and have a very strong impact in perceiving spaces by different people, but there are some universal perceptions that always stay the same.  Imagine telling somebody grass, and the person’s automatic assumption that the grass is green in color.  There are several other cognitive associations connected to different colors:  sky – blue, red – blood, orange – fire. But our reaction and preferences of different colors can not merely be based on these associations.  There are several factors that affect our color experience and some of them are buried deep inside of human psyche.

To achieve the desired atmosphere of a space all colors have to be manipulated to correlate with their function.  Warm and bright colors will create high level of emotions and direct attention of the users outward.  This would be a good technique for giving a color boost to such spaces as lobbies or cafeterias.  Surroundings with cooler, softer colors will produce an opposite reaction and encourage inward orientation consequently enhancing ability to concentrate and perform difficult tasks.  This could be a good color for designing studio spaces, offices or classrooms.

Take a look at this smart use of bright colors in a commercial space.  The images are of the Tempe Transportation Center Interior.

Bright colors can also bring life into your monotonous interior and stimulate your brain just enough to keep it alert.  Perfect fit for a transportation center!

Interior of Tempe Transportation Center by Architekton and Otak

Interior of Tempe Transportation Center by Architekton and Otak

Read more about this project HERE.

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