BYLINE: Sheila Chisholm
THE use of colour has long been known to have a huge impact on our psyche. From the extraordinary revitalising feeling that wearing the "right colours" can bring about, to freshening up a room with a coat of paint, we are profoundly affected by the impact of colour.
AkzoNobel of Amsterdam are exploring the potency of different shades and hues by turning colour coding into a global project for public buildings. While AkzoNobel kickstarted their intercontinental campaign in Brazil earlier this year, back home, South Africa's Dulux Paint is spearheading a venture called Let's Colour.
Talking to Johannesburg-based colour research representative Sonica Bucksteg, her passion for the way colour can positively stimulate our perceptions is palpable.
"In public buildings, such as schools and hospitals, there is a widespread tendency to just slap on a uniform colour. Too often insufficient thought is given to how colour affects our moods, and pleasure in our surroundings," says Bucksteg.
There's the classic case she quotes of an elderly woman whose depression lifted completely after her bedroom walls were changed from deep purple to cheerful sunshine yellow.
Bucksteg highlights the difficulties sight impaired persons have coping in hospitals where doors and walls tend to be painted in similar tones and colours.
"Many - if not all - can define some colour outline. So, if the simple exercise of painting all toilet doors a single bright colour with the walls painted in a contrasting light reflecting value, the visually impaired could navigate their way around public building with greater ease. And how much less traumatic a hospital visit could be made by this user-friendly practice."
As colour gives a clue to a building's character it's not by accident Dulux …