Colourful language: researching architects’ knowledge and use of colour

    Motamed, Bahareh
    Tucker, Richard
    Grose, Margaret
    Conference Papers
    Design Education and Design Research


The development of architectural materials and technology is transforming the colour palettes and identities of cities by juxtaposing or replacing vernacular colours with global and often contextually meaningless colours. As Built Environment designers have significant roles in determining city colourscapes, it might be expected that th ese professionals have considerable knowledge. However, there is largely an absence of colour training in the majority of built environment degree programs. While colour has been studied in a broad range of disciplines, very few studies have focussed on architecture and even less on colour in architectural education. This paper reports on the early findings of research into what informs architect’s understanding and use of colour. Data was analysed from a survey of 33 practicing architects, academics and postgraduate students from Melbourne, Australia. The findings indicate that built environment designers see the need for increasing their colour knowledge. In line with previous studies, there was no evidence of correlations between gender and age, but findings suggest cultural differences in the level of colour education depending on country of architectural study. The wider research that this study is a part of ultimately aims to inform education around the use of colour in the built environment.


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