1. Colorium Laboratorium
A thesis submitted to the faculty of Parsons The New School for Design, in partial
fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Fine Arts in Design and Technology
Faculty: Cynthia Lawson Thesis Studio, Spring 2010,
Cynthia Lawson, Andrew Zornoza Thesis Studio, Fall 2009
Thesis production website:
2. Copyright 2010 Julia Vallera
All Rights Reserved
3. C LORIUM
an exploration in color & perception
4. Colorium Laboratorium is a platform for artists, designers, scientists and students to
contribute ideas and interpretations about color and perception. As a mobile instillation
it aims to share these contributions with as many people as possible. “Color Wheels” is a
custom designed van that hosts workshops and features hands on activities related to
color and perception. Inside the van, participants are challenged to make discoveries and
observations through playful exploration. Visitors can personalize the experience by
selecting to participate in the activities they find most enlightening and fun. Magnetic
color puzzles, wooden color wheels, drawings, models, sound recordings and word charts
are just a few examples. The van allows more people the opportunity to participate in a
memorable experience that is unique and compelling.
5. Table of contents
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Part One A. Introduction
ii.Audience and Setting
iii.Impetus/Why it Matters
Part Two A. Domains and Precedents
ii.user created experiments
i. art education
ii.experimental (Lifelong Kindergarten MIT)
i. color environments
6. Part Three A. Methodology
Part Four A. Evaluation
7. List of Illustrations
8. Part One: Introduction
Once a year the circus comes to town. It unfolds into a magical display of light
and color. The quiet motionless land instantly transforms into a vibrant stomping ground
filled with people. Excitement spills into the air for just enough time to make an imprint
in the memories of the people that experience it.
Humans have a rich history in traveling entrepreneurship. Gypsies, circus acts,
magicians and inventors are a few examples of people that have historical roots in
nomadic livelihoods. Any century, in any part of the world has some kind of example of
this. Growing population and changes in global economic infrastructure change how this
happens today, but it still does.
In many cities it happens through a growing number of carts, stands, trucks and
vans that sell ice cream, pizza, baked goods, tacos, clothing, fruit, hot dogs, energy drinks
and health care plans . Mobile entrepreneurship in urban environments, whether it is
commercial, political or educational, is increasingly popular.
Mobility is appealing because there are no monthly rent to pay. There is flexibility
in moving from one location to another. Larger, more varied populations of people can be
reached and the possibility for spontaneity is greater. For these reasons mobility is
particularly appealing to design and education projects with a participatory element.
An increasing number of artists, museums and galleries are breaking ground in
mobil exhibitions. Artists and art organizations are concerned with the amount of people
that experience or view the work. In general, the more people that visit, the better.
Chelsea is an area of NYC where many high profile galleries are located. It is a
popular destination for tourists, artists and art dealers. Although the location is ideal,
regular visitors to the area fit a limited demographic that is not very economically or
culturally diverse. Work on display there, no matter how participatory or interactive,
maintains a static quality just because of the limits of the gallery in which it is installed.
The Queens Museum of Art, located in Flushing Queens has reversed limitations. It
9. attracts an audience that is more diverse than Chelsea, but its distant location makes it
less frequented by many populations.
Overcoming these limitations in demographics and location is an ongoing
challenge in New York and in other cities. Vans, trucks, carts, trailers and buses are a few
options that enable galleries, museums and artists access to a wider range of
communities. The purpose and scale of mobile venues vary depending on what the
project is, but in every case there is an effort to reach a larger, more diverse group of
people. M.O.N.H, San Francisco Mobile gallery, Brooklyn Library and The Parts and
labor gallery are examples of organizations that have successfully demonstrated
participation, education, collaboration and design through mobility.
Colorium Laboratorium is a platform for artists, designers, scientists and students
to contribute ideas and interpretations about color and perception. It aims to share these
contributions with as many people as possible. “Color Wheels” is a custom designed van
that hosts workshops and features hands on activities related to color and perception.
Inside the van, participants are challenged to make discoveries and observations through
playful exploration. People can personalize the experience by selecting to participate in
the activities they find most enlightening and fun. Magnetic color puzzles, wooden color
wheels, drawings, models, sound recordings and word charts are just a few examples.
This mobility allows more people the opportunity to participate in a memorable
experience that is unique and compelling.
Color perception varies depending on the person, their background and what
experiences they have. Colorium Laboratorium asks subjective questions like: What color
is the sky today? What color was your breakfast? What color is the statue of liberty?
What color is the light on a winter day? and What is the color of war? Differences in the
way visitors respond will initiate critical thinking about how color perception is unique.
Perception tests and color activities supplement these questions. “Staircase
Gelb”, “Mockcard”, “Illuminance domes” and “Reduction screens” are four perception
tests that demonstrate how illuminance and shadow affect visual perception. Tests such
10. as these demonstrate how the visual system is a complicated combination of variables
that influence the way we see color. Previous to, or following these perception tests the
participant may explore any one of several activities that I designed for the inside of the
One of these activities demonstrates how color is affected by light. A diorama of a
NYC scene is lit by three different light sources. One being florescent, one
monochromatic and another that is daylight. Changing the light source from one to the
other changes the appearance of color in the diorama. Monochromatic light (light from a
street lamp) makes everything look like it is the same color. Florescent light makes
everything greenish tone with violet shadows. Daylight causes variation in color and
casts warmer shadows. Combinations of these create further disparity in the results.
Other activities focus on subtractive color, which is color of pigments used on
objects and in dyes. Value scales, contrast scales, pentagon puzzles, and color association
charts are some activities that demonstrate this. Difference in surface also affects how
the pigment of the object looks. Smooth surface is more reflective, textured surface is
less reflective and translucent object is not reflective. In each of these activities variation
in color depending on difference of surface is demonstrated.
Lighting designers, psychologists , color specialists, visual artists and others will
be invited to contribute to monthly workshops that include in person demonstrations,
webcam presentations and audio recordings.
11. Audience and Setting
Colorium Laboratorium’s audience consists of people who enjoy learning
through exploration, people interested in participatory art and people interested in public
installations. Within these categories students, artists, teachers and community arts
practitioners make up a large majority. This particular audience is important for
Colorium Laboratorium because through them it can grow and evolve.
Sharing ideas in a fun and experimental way is a very important part of the
project. Exploring innovative ways to use the unique environment of Color Wheels to
visualize those ideas is essential. Invited guests may use Color Wheels in whatever way
that suits their project. Some may reinvent the space while others don’t at all.
Visiting a variety of neighborhoods in NYC will make the audience and setting
change with each use. These neighborhoods change from block to block and a population
of 8 million makes NYC an icon of cultural diversity. In light of the huge population,
cultural identity remains strong, which causes a unique experience in every part of NYC.
Participants vary depending on the neighborhood Color Wheels is in. For
example, the upper east side in Manhattan has a population that is mostly high income,
white people while Lefferts Garden in Brooklyn is mostly low income, West indian
people. Reactions to the project differ in each place. These differences add a valuable
element to the project. One that makes each experience with Color Wheels new and
enlightening with each iteration.
(does the installation change for neighborhood?)
Colorium Laboratorium aims to find out what makes a learning experience
compelling, memorable and accessible. In considering this, it asks how a mobile
environment like Color Wheels is more affective than a stationary one and how to design
12. activities that maximize learning in a short, playful experience. Creating activities like
this is essential so that the above concerns are met successfully
Color can cause physical discomfort or put our minds at ease. It is a powerful
form of communication on a local and global scale. Astrology, politics, ecology, design,
psychology and education are a few areas largely influenced by color.
In 2003 the United Nations reported that food rations distributed in Iraq by U.S. -
led coalition forces were “wrapped in the same yellow packaging as deadly so-called
bomblets being airdropped by the coalition” (CNN.com). This simple oversight in color
usage put the lives of hundreds of civilians in danger of mistaking food rations for
Climate change is transforming the colors of the earth. One of the largest ice caps
in the world, on Mount Kilimanjaro is melting causing the landscape to change from a
large white area to dark brown and green one. Warmer oceans and water sedimentation
are causing coral reef bleaching, which is draining the ocean floor of its color.
Symbols and signs we follow on a daily basis are color coded and are embedded
into our thinking. The U.S.A’s terror alert system is a good example. Red is the highest
level warning and green is the least. The designation of certain colors to “levels” of
danger is an interesting parallel, not to mention what colors were chosen and why.
Healthiness is commonly associated to color. Blue or green frequently represents
illness when pink or red-orange represents wellness. The color of your nails, eyes, skin
and teeth is a reliable sign of the quality of your health. For example, the discoloration in
the peachy /off white color of the nail can be a sign of malnutrition or disease.
All of these examples demonstrate the frequency in which color plays a role in
everyday life. I am interested in how these colors in everyday life change from person to
person and from place to place. I wonder why and in what ways people associate certain
color to sound, taste and smell. Gathering feedback from individuals that participate in
Color Wheels is a way for me to find answers to my wonderment.
13. This exploration will produce results of how the participatory activities I am
creating maps how participants relate to color and how those relationships might be
similar or different depending on culture, location or age. This project provides an
opportunity to reach a large audience. Communicating the material in a simple and
effective way is very important to its success. I hope that it can expand so that it may
travel to more cities. Taking Color Wheels to different geographical locations is
appealing to me because it allows me to compare participant results on a larger scale. On
any scale results and feedback from the participants will be published online or in print so
people can follow the progress of the project without having to experience it first hand.
Broadening my understanding of how people see the world through color will
help me learn new ways of experiencing color and perception so I can develop better
ways to teach it. By designing this environment I can learn what makes a successful
foundation for participatory environments so that I can use it on further projects in the
(education-more, what do they get out of it more specifically)
Part Two: Domains and Precedents
Mobile museums, Public art, participatory art, education and color theory are five
domains related to my thesis. Within these domains several precedents demonstrate key
ideas central to my research. This research informs my creative process. on how to
develop a project that is intuitive and communicates well (fix). Precedents in each
domain fall under related organizations, related content and/or experiential content.
Related organizations are artists, non profits or other collectives within each
domain. Related content includes research from books, websites, galleries and interviews
that directly relate to my concept. Experiential content are examples that exist in the
physical world and have been or are being used. Video, fabric, food, music, print and
photography are some examples of forms experiential content can take.
14. Precedents I chose for mobility are projects that demonstrate how mobility
succeeds in reaching many people, how it benefits from a simple and fast interface and
how the experience is customizable based on the needs of the audience. Educational
precedents demonstrate how new learning environments create new perspectives and how
art making and digital media are tools for learning. Examples of public art demonstrate
the importance of community and variation in audience. Precedents in participatory art
involve hands on activity and user feedback that demonstrate interaction with an
environment and how that interaction may my foster communication between
participants. Precedents for color theory demonstrate the human visual system,
subtractive color vs. additive color, color and food, color and sound and psychology of
Key figures mentioned in the following sections include Kurt Nassau, Alan
Gilchrest, Carl Minchew, XXX Finlay, XXXX Luscher, and Thomas Bosket. Their work
is central to my thesis research because it demonstrates why each element of my project
is relevant to my concept. By designing a mobile platform for shared ideas, more
participants can benefit from a memorable experience that compelling and fun.
Alley Reeves is an artist based in Pittsburgh. She began a project in 2007 called
The mobile Museum. She describes it as “human powered, bicycle transported and open
content. It is a means to display and input open content information. You take the cart,
you share the artwork or invention, you pass on the idea that others can do the
same!” (themobilemuseum.com) In this case mobility is created using a bike cart, which
is customizable and can be accessed by many people.
15. Fig. 1. Ally Reeves, Mobile Museum, Pittsburgh, PA. (http://themobilemuseum.com/).
Another example is a project called Class C, by Ruben Ochoa. This California
based artist transformed his families taco truck into a mobile art gallery. The gallery is
complete with an office and show-room. His intention in developing this project was to
“parallel a system (referring to an art gallery system), but take it into another direction, a
moveable direction”. He states that the van “takes away the magic behind the scenes and
makes it all open and there for anyone to see”. Making the administrative side of a how a
gallery functions transparent is something that most people do not get exposed to. This
visibility educates people about art and design as a business so they can begin to relate to
it in a different way.
16. Fig. 2. Ruben Ochoa, Class C, San Francisco, CA. (http://www.hijadela.com/works/exhibits/exhibits.html).
SF Mobile Museum is a mobile museum in SF. “Looking for Loci” is a current
exhibit that is created entirely by participants. Thirty seven people were given a
cardboard box of exactly the same the dimensions and asked to create a diorama inside of
it that represents the spirit of a place they think is special. The participatory element of
this project is a successful precedent for Color Wheels. Exhibiting the different boxes
shows how each participant created different solutions to the same question.
Fig. 3. San Francisco Mobile Museum, Looking for Loci, San Francisco, CA. (http://sfmobilemuseum.blogspot.com/).
17. One of the educational programs at the Museum of Natural History is a mobile
museum project called the “Moveable Museum.” There are three different trucks, that
each showcase different topics, which include anthropology, astronomy and paleontology.
The content is designed specifically to the theme of the truck. I arranged a meeting with
one of the educators, who gave me a tour of the Paleontology and Astrology trucks.
During the meeting I gained lots of information relating to how the trucks were designed,
how they are used and how people interact with them.
Questions that I got particularly helpful feedback from are listed below, along
with summarized answeres.
1. When was the ﬁrst museum created and who is respnsible for the design of the truck?
The ﬁrst truck was created in 1993, but there were mobile musuems associated with the
museum since the 50’s. They use to drive around in trucks/cars with artifacts to different
parts of NY. It takes about 2 years to make one museum. The educators are mostly
responsible for the design within the museum. Scientist play a big role as well.
2. How much time do Kids spend in the truck? Is there additional activities they do after
leaving the truck?
We visit schools and get every class for one hour. Half an hour is spent in the truck, the
other half hour is spent in the classroom with slides and lectures. They often want to
spend more time in the truck, but can’t because the next class has to come in. Teachers
usually do follow up activities with the students in relation to what they did in the truck.
3. Do you ever open the truck to the public? If so are people interested?
Yes. We visit summer camps, community events and street fairs. We let 15 or fewer
people in the truck at one time. THey are very interested. THey interact with the stations
that have buttons ﬁrst, then move around to other parts.
4. Is there a linear way people have to get the most out of the museum? If so, do people
ALmost everyone goes to the infared camera ﬁrst. The truck is designed so people move
counter clockwise, but it is not essential that has to happen. The students get worksheets
that direct them from station to station, which forces them to move through the exhibit
linearly. The public moves around randomly and does not spend as much time reading
18. 5. What role do the educators play in the overall experience?
The educators do presentations in the classrooms with slides and artifacts. They are in
the truck as well, but leave the students to ﬁnd things on their own unless they need help.
THe educators are mostly all scientists. They did not get degrees in teaching.
6. Is there more success educating students with a mobile museum than there is in a
The beneﬁt of the moveable museum is that it is a smaller scale. There is less success in
the MONH with educating students because there is much more to see and do. Students
can focus easier in the moveable museum. We can customize the moveable museum
experience to ﬁt the need of the audience. Sometimes we visit special populations and we
can adjust any part of the experience to the population. Many times teachers will warn us
of a difﬁcult child, but most of the time the student is well behaved in the truck. THe
new learning environment creates a new perspective. Education is a challenge the large
museum is always struggling with because there it is so big, but the moveable museum
isolates sections of the bigger museum.
Fig. 4. M.O.N.H Moveable Museum, Moveable Universe, NYC, NY. (http://www.amnh.org).
Several other mobile projects I found in my research include Truck art gallery,
Parts and Labor, Museum of Material Culture, Worlds Largest things, Inc., Black History
101 mobile museum, Karaoke Ice and Brooklyn Mobile Library. In all of these examples
19. mobility is an important quality that makes each project successful. Most of them require
user participation and in several others learning is the main goal.
Public Space (specific- how it informs project)
educational public art:
“Art educates and promotes healthy living and a sense of personal connection in a
community occurs when people take part in building installations and digital
incorporation into public art. ” (http://www.communityarts.net/readingroom/archivefiles/
Community Arts Network (C.A.N) is a network that caters to community art
specialists. It is one of several related organizations. It hosts conventions, posts articles
and has forums on related topics. Several articles listed on C.A.N informed me how to
develop my thesis goals around my audience. Posting a survey on C.A.N’s forum gave
me feedback as to what community art experts know about how public installations affect
Part Two: Domains and Precedents
(A New Framework for building participation in the arts by Kevin F. McCarhty and
Kimberly J. Jinnett)
MONH moveable museum
20. Storycorps Door to door
http://www.storycorps.org/your-community Mobile Tour outreach
Color and Perception
A combination of the human visual system and light is why color perception
is possible. (work on directness) Numerous scientists, philosophers, physicists and
artists study this time and time again. The resulting work contributes to an ever growing
body of color related discoveries. In a letter to Wilhelm von Humbolt (philospher) in
1798, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (philosopher and scientist) explained that by
embarking on his book, History of the Theory of Colours he had also hoped to create a
"History of the Human Spirit in Miniature" (Virtual Color Museum). Color is a timeless
subject that relates to all fields of study, which makes it intriguing for many reasons.
Contextualization of color within many fields of study is extensive. For example,
within design color affects composition, space, form and texture. In technology color
leads to breakthroughs in digital imagery, color processing and hardware. Color in society
identifies gender, social status and age. In psychology color influences mood, physiology
and mental wellness. Examples of this are plentiful.
Josef Albers is known for his groundbreaking work at the Bauhaus with color
theory. He spent most of his life teaching his students relativity of color and how its
unpredictability is what makes it so important to study. He wrote, “Until one has the
experience of knowing that he is being fooled by color, one cannot be expected to be very
careful to look at things inquiringly.” (Josef Albers, http://www.moma.org/visit/calendar/
events/7600) People in his classes were usually artists and designers. His theories and
teachings still remain the foundation for most color theory classes in Art and Design
schools across the world.
21. Outside of art, design, science and psychology professionals, most people live
their lives taking color and perception for granted. Most thought about color happens in
relation to consumerism. Wall paint, make-up, furniture and clothing are common
products that initiate color consideration. What many people do not know is that trend
forecasting companies determine how color is marketed for almost every industry. It is
an involved process that most people can relate to.
Discovering how and why our eyes and brain experience color the way they do
can be a momentous experience. One that may be forgotten or remembered, but
always awe inspiring.(explain not showing-tell what it is to show what)
Simultaneous contrast is one of several basic color theory principles that may cause an
experience such as this. It is a visual illusion that happens because of color relativity.
The red squares in both of the image below are the same hue, but the ones on the right
appear to be brighter and the red squares on the left appear to be darker. The illusion
exists because of variation in the color surrounding the red squares. On the right the red
squares are placed on top of a blue that is darker in value than the red squares so the red
appears lighter. The red squares on the left are placed on a yellow color that is lighter in
value than the red so the red appears darker.
Simple demonstrations like this make the uncertainty of how we see color
apparent very quickly. Why this happens and what it means is a complicated question that
has several answers. Colorium Laboratorium does not aim to find an answer, but rather
to share the question with as many people as possible so that we might begin to apply the
same critical thinking to our daily routines. So much research, design and science creates
22. the color of our world, but it appears arbitrary. Through Color Wheels people can
discover the color of our world in a new way.
Interview with Alan Gilchrest (Rutgers University)(make separate pieces...thing of
Perception tests, optical illusions
Interview with Carl Minchew(color director from Benjamin Moore)
1. Do you conduct customer surveys or research groups to find out what colors are most
popular and why?
We do. We track sales and we also participate in color associations such as Color
Marketing Group (CMG) and forcasting services.
2. How do you train employees to talk about color mixing? Do they get training on how
light affects pigment? If so, how do you train them?
Training depends on the job. For most, training is focused on the best way to produce
durable, reliable colors including best practices for matching colors. The importance of
lighting is always discussed, especially the importance of using consistent quality lighting
for color matching.
3. To what extent does color and psychology define what colors you choose to create/
market? For example, with the economy doing poorly are you developing color palettes
that might be more uplifting, calming, neutral, etc.....?
Yes the general mood and changes in taste are very important considerations. But, usually
we are not trying to drive opinion but to reflect what will make customers most
23. comfortable. This includes elements of style as well as traditional color choices tempered
with the "mood of the times."
4. Do you ever do seminars or classes with students or the public about color mixing? If
not, would you like to?(I ask this because I am interested in asking guests to do
presentations/seminars in my colorium laboratorium)
We do. I have given several lectures about color and color perception and we also
conduct training for retailers and color matchers. We could certainly do a webinar on any
of these subjects.
5. Do you develop different colors to be sold in different areas within the united states? If
so, what areas get what colors and why?
There are many factors including climate, construction style and materials and the nature
of the communinity that affect color usage. It is difficult to generalize what drives this.
When we think of South Florida and the Carribean we often think of bright chromatic
colors blazing the the sun. But in the sunny Southwest we see more adobe and earthtones.
Elsewhere in the Southeast we see a lot of white and light pastels. We try to make sure
that we have the colors that will be desired for every geography but we don't usually limit
our color offerings--if you want Newport Blue in Atlanta we say "why not!"
Some other questions that relate more directly to the process of pigment mixing:
1. In developing new hues, do you always start with the same basic ingredients or do you
start with a color that is already created ? Do you start with a theme or concept?
It depends. New colors usually begin with a concept and often as a collection. The most
recent new collection, Affinity, was built around the concept of a liveable, harmonius
24. palette that includes modern updates to our Historical Colors. It has been extremely
successful because the entire collection is true to the idea and it includes great colors!
Over many years we have found that colors with a medium chroma, not too bright and
not too dull, are the most liveable. Within that range we can create a full palette of hues.
For most colors the fundamental mixture is oxide yellow, oxide red and black--an
amazing variety of colors can be created with this combination. Of course we use more
chromatic pigments too such as blue, green, yellow, orange and red--they are
indepspensible in creating a full palette.
2. Do you test new colors under different lighting before marketing it? IF so, what types
of light do you test under?
Color is light so we have to be very deliberate about lighting. In fact there is a major
transition under way that will eventually replace traditional incandescent lamps with
either florescent or, eventually, LEDs. We use standard light sources like D-65 Daylight
as well as a proprietary Benjamin Moore Daylight that we find very effective. The key is
to be consistent when you create and evaluate colors and to understand where the color
will be used.
3. Is there a certain color wheel/color system (Itten, Munsell, Goethe, etc....) that you use
as a foundation for color mixing or does BM have one of there own?
We use a variety of systems as a reference. From a technical perspective we don't often
need the color wheel since we are dealing with well established tinting rules and
fundamental color reflectance values. From a design perspecitve we use Munsell and
NCS most frequently.
25. 4. Is there an effort to replicate color in nature, fabric, or food? If so, do you ever borrow
the chemical breakdown of anything to find out what is creating that color?
Color in nature is a fascinating subject. It ranges from relatively temporary colors like a
leaf or butterfly wing to more permanent color such as minerals, gems and rocks. And, of
course, there are the colors of sunsets, sunrises and rainbows. Many of the pigments we
use are chemically similar to naturally occuring minerals, particularly iron oxides and
carbon black. For brighter colors we use synthetic pigments that mimic, but are not
identical to, natural colors.
Part Three: Methodology
Mobile venue: Use a mobile space to demonstrate peoples experiences from different
Education: Digital and non-digital teaching methods to demonstrate how the visual
system, physiology and chemistry affect perception
Participatory art: User participation in activities will initiate interest and provide a chance
Part Four: Evaluation
One of the most striking comments I received following my thesis studio ﬁnal
presentation was from Marina Zurkow. She said the project was exciting and had great
potential, but that it still lacked a "gender". She further explained by saying the concept
is not “charged” enough and is too “neutral”. I believe this articulates what the present
26. state of Colorium Laboratorium lacks. I feel good about my research, my prototypes and
my user tests, but it still lacks emotional drive. In order to ﬁgure out what will create this
drive I have to decide whether or not what I build in the van is a rhetorical/critical
analysis of color or if it is a psychological assessment of peoples perceptions of color.
Prototypes so far have gone both ways. The experiments with food dye, skin
color and food packaging is more of a critical look at how color is manipulated, presented
and ultimately judged. The experiments with sound, value scales and optical illusions are
more of a psychological assessment. Both directions are interesting to me, but there is too
much of a gap between them. Pursuing one of these directions will help me focus on
creating the emotional connection that is currently missing. Making this decision will
allow me to get much more speciﬁc with my design questions, activities and grant
The user test I did in the Parts and labor truck was emotionally charged.
Participants collaborated with each other and were excited, confused and self guided. In
contrast, the individual user tests were calmer and controlled. In these I guided
participants through activities with moments of encouragement and explanation. Which
direction I decide to pursue will determine what type of experience the user has.
Ongoing research of my domains is substantial. I am satisﬁed with the amount of
precedents I have for mobile galleries, color theory and participatory art. I am interested
in ﬁnding more speciﬁc examples of artists who’s work takes a critical look into themes
about color. Once I ﬁnd more speciﬁc examples of this I can better understand how the
contributions I am making are beneﬁcial and unique. Some of the artists I am looking at
are Atelier Von Lieshout, Tachtide Magic, Soﬁa Hollester and Thomas Hirschhorn.
Patterns in my iterations have become apparent and are leading me to consider my
next steps. One pattern is that my prototypes are easy for people to interact with and I am
getting positive user feedback with each test. The other is that my prototypes are
repetitive. Most of them are generally doing the same thing. For example, they are all
neutral, perception tests with no immediate result for the user. The only exceptions are
with the value scales (there is a right way and wrong way) and with the perception/
27. interpretation user test with Parts and Labor (people see how what they draw based on a
verbal description compares to what is actually there).
Product ideas came out of these iterations, which I plan to include inside the van.
One is a vending machine that dispenses edible snacks in unidentiﬁable, single color
packages, with no words or graphics on them. Another are magnetic and/or wood color
puzzles that are arranged into palettes by someone according to a story they would like to
tell. The last one is a color-word chart (a separate chart for nouns, verbs and adjectives).
People choose words to correspond with each color on the chart. The words can later be
assembled into a color proﬁle, horoscope or poem that is particular to the person.
I am fascinated by color perception, I am curious about how color affects
everyone differently and I love what mobility adds to an exhibition. Bringing Colorium
Laboratorium to various neighborhoods in NYC is a way for me to pursue these interests
and something I believe will produce intriguing results. Expanding in this way will help
me to ﬁnd answers to my design questions, which I have not yet found answers for.
1. Luscher Color Diagnostics. “Luscher Color Diangnostics: The Lscher-Color-
Diagnostic measures a person's psycho-physical state, his or her ability to withstand
stress, to perform, and to communicate.” http://www.colourtest.ue-foundation.org/
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