Latest news
Architecture Art Design Trade fairs Books Awards Various News archive



Breathing Colour, perceptions and connections to colour


Drawing on 15 years of research, industrial designer Hella Jongerius presented “Breathing Colour” in the Desing Museum in London, an exhibition that took a deeper look at how colour behaves. Exploring shapes, materials, shadows and reflections, the exhibition questioned our preconceptions of colour.

Jongerius’ study had been inspired by a wide range of sources, including celebrated painters who recognised and recorded how light affects objects and landscapes. For example, Monet painted the same haystack over and over to document the different colours and atmospheres at different times of the day.

The exhibition was divided into separate spaces that simulated daylight conditions at specific times of the day (morning, noon and evening). These three phases explored the impact of changing daylight on our perception of colour. Each installation included a series of three-dimensional objects as well as textiles, some of which were hand-woven while others were produced on industrial looms.

According to the Dutch designer, large-scale textiles experiment in creating black tones without the use of black materials. It is possible to create a larger range of colours and hues by optically mixing from a limited palette of coloured yarns. By weaving in several materials, with different textures and finishes, a range of vibrant colours is generated, as well as a spectrum of varied blacks.

We see the world in a rich mix of colours, but rarely do we appreciate how complex they can be. Colours are often presented to us as a perception categorised according to paint charts and standardised colour systems. Where colours were once produced by mixing pigments into infinite permutations, we now select them according to a name or code on a chart.

Jongerius argues that these processes of industrialisation have narrowed our experiences of colour and its cultural meanings. “Breathing Colour” explored how we relate to colour in a more intimate and personal way.


224-238 Kensington High St, Kensington
London W8 6AG, UK

Share |


Thumb Thumb Thumb Thumb
Thumb Thumb Thumb Thumb
Thumb Thumb Thumb Thumb