How technology and urban regeneration could inspire us towards a lighter, brighter colour trend
For much of the world, global interaction with the ‘web’ and the growing use of technology has for many, changed the face of the way we live and work.
Wearable technology such as Google’s Glass, an interactive pair of glasses with O.H.M.N (Optical Head-Mounted Display) that allow the wearer to navigate, send messages, play music and even improve their golf swing, perhaps moves us a step closer to ‘intuitive’ technology that becomes less an accessory, so much as an integrated part of our biological being.
Indeed, colour blind artist and ‘eyeborg’ Neil Harbisson, who suffers from a condition known as achromatopsia, has developed a ‘creative antennae’ now permanently embedded in his skull. The internet-enabled device allows him to experience colour as audible sound waves.
But whilst advancing technology has the undoubted potential to improve the quality of and even extend human life, its growth and importance to the way we live, interact with each other and its impact on commerce, means many of the world’s populace now have desk-bound jobs and careers.
Long gone are the days where a higher proportion of work was manual labour. A calorie or carb-rich diet which would have been naturally burned off as fuel for work, now settles itself on the butt, thighs and stomach in swathes of the world’s westernised population.
However, we are now seeing something of an awakening to these problems via a global initiative that is begining to address the effect that the combined problems of inactivity and unhealthy diets have on our well-being.
Many organisations including planning authorities, professional bodies and private companies are attempting to address the issues by working with designers and architects to design buildings and public spaces that encourage daily activity.
In the UK, the Design Council has launched the ‘Active’ programme which builds on government health research that shows how people’s quality of life can be improved through better design.
Another movement involving change to the environment is the increase in pop-up colour initiatives, where collaborations of artists and colourists seek to improve the appearance of environments and buildings suffering from urban decay, with the use of (often) quite bright colour palettes.
An increased awareness in the need for the inclusion of more activity in our daily lives could lead us toward a trend for more energising and playful colours used in design; which I see as represented by a lighter, brighter colour palette featuring fresher versions of colours such as aqua-blue and red. When the mood is down, these colours are generally found to be more cheerful and uplifting and it’s no surprise that these kinds of colours are used in urban colour projects.
With the advances in technology becoming more intuitive, I see our response to this represented by the clarity of the sensitive, reflective yet modernist metallic colour of silver.