People and Their Places

Renzo Campisi, an Architect and Illustrator based in the UK, wrote an interesting article about the relationship between the color and design of spaces and the people who use them. But instead of focusing on the traffic flow or usefulness and configuration of the spaces he brought to the forefront the relationship between the color of the space and the colors the people who use the space wear. 
It’s not often that we consider what people will be wearing when color choices for buildings are made, but Campisi argues that we should. He exemplifies the argument with a set of illustrations. One the right hand side a high saturation building is filled with low saturation people and on the left stands a similar cartoon Victorian but now the people are richly colored and the interior is desaturated. 

His main point is summarized thus over at Saturated Space:

“Shouldn’t a school designed in the UK be different from a school designed in Italy, not only because of weather and orientation, urban fabric and location, but also because of its students’ uniforms? How do their spaces respond to the fact that in the UK, the students inhabiting the classrooms will be wearing uniforms (one singular, or binary of colours) while in Italy uniforms are not used at all (a patchwork quilt of colours)? Shouldn’t the foyer of a big office building be primed and ready to welcome and respond to the hordes of men wearing black, grey, blue suits and women wearing pastel colours?”

His idea brings out life that spaces have after they are forgotten by the architects who built them. This life is full of factors and people that contribute their own colors to the canvas. And while Campisi’s argument is thought provoking there is also the counter argument to be made. In a private school with uniforms the color choices of the students are obviously restricted and thus these spaces lend themselves to Campisi’s type of color consideration. However in the real world, like say here in San Francisco, the color choices of the working public change frequently over time and even with in the same office. His claim to “hordes of men wearing black, grey, blue suits and women wearing pastel colours” is long in the past, the business causal here at least has become far more diverse and frankly just casual.

Does your wardrobe factor in to how you paint you home? Does the color scheme of your office change how you dress? We want to know.

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


One thought on “People and Their Places

  1. It always makes me smile when clients ask if their room's color palette should go with their skin tone, hair color, etc. And the advice to look in closets for color direction is funny too. I've looked in people's closets. I've helped empty closets so painters could paint them. I've yet to see evidence of how clothing colors connect to colors for interiors. Perhaps I just haven't looked in the right closet yet.

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