Color And Light Affect Students Performance Cultural Studies Essay

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We learn in a quiet reflection, in noisy leaps and in social interaction that arouse our emotion. A wonderful characteristic of leaning is that we learn when feel secures cozy, and also when we feel challenged these materials that makes us fell such is Light and color.

Color in the learning environment provides an unthreatening environment that improves visual processing, reduces stress, and challenges brain development through visual stimulation/relationships and pattern seeking. Visual stimulation actually rewires the brain, making stronger connections while fostering visual thinking, problem solving, and creativity (Simmons, 1995).

The aim of this study is to investigate the effect that light and color have on students' performance and how these elements inter relate to produce spaces either pleasing or not. The research is going to be based on scientific research method specifically the use survey question for the research will focus on the effect that light and color have on students in the library.

Table of Content



1.1 Light

1.2 Color

2. Learning Environment

2.1 space perception

2.2 Site analysis

3. The effect of color and Light on a build environment

4. Students Perception of CIU library

5. Result and Discussion

6. Conclusion


For centuries, people have visited libraries to find information, and the practical needs of housing collections and accommodating readers have typically driven library design. In many cases, design has reached further, to create a place that inspires the individual and the intellect (Bennet S.2003) and the two most important things that affect or inspires ones performance is light and color in the library. This paper aims at identifying the effect of light and color has on their performance using a Cyprus international university as a case study.

It's true to say the list that light and color have psychological effect on us in one way or the other Because it has effect on our mood and can also change the perception we have on any environment particularly build environments, some colors are exiting, lovely and inviting while some are annoying and disturbing. Over the years many researchers from different disciplines have studied the effect of color and Light on our environment and how it affect our perception of space or environment including both private and public spaces, from these studies researchers have been able to find the effect of colors on people whether it has positive or negative effect. For people to see anything and understand what that particular thing we need light either from natural or artificial source. Therefore our response to light and color within our environment helps us to create an understanding with things in world. (Thaddeus S.). Color and light is a very important factor in any environment because its color and light that gives any environment a meaning, identity or image depending on the culture of the environment. Example in western societies black is associated with bad things like death, Red is associated with love while white is associated good things like Peace.

As mentioned earlier color is a very important Factor which Influence the welfare and performance of both teachers and student's weather positively or negatively depends on what color is used. If the right one it used it will have positive effect but when the wrong one is used it will have negative effect. When the right color is used in an academic environment it will enhance the performance of both Students and teachers but situation where by the wrong color is used it will really discourage both teachers and students.

Light is one of the most important things which is found everywhere in the world which helps us to see things around our Environment and its light which carries information from the world to our eyes and Brain. Seeing objects, colors and shapes in our environment is not possible without Light. There mainly two sources of Light, the natural (sun light) and artificial light (lamps etc.).

Color is usually an abstract concept that we perceive differently depending on our experience. For example in the western cultures white is associated with good things like peace while in Chinese culture white is associated with death. However in some we have a common interpretation of specific colors example to all road users red is stop and green is go.

Experiments from many researches have shown that some specific colors discourage both staffs and student's performance while some encourage them and improve their outcome (1). As perkin & wills stated in a paper impact of color on leaning when choosing a color for school districts it's important to choose a functional color rather its Aesthetics quality because he believes that functional colors increase students and staff attention (5).

Literature review

In this Part of the paper discusses on Literature around this research and how they are related to the research. The chapter begins by discussing library and its development through time, then in the other part it discusses light and color in detail.

2.1 Libraries

Libraries are only next in importance to schools, colleges and universities as means of educating the public. A library is a store-house of books-books of all kinds and on all subjects under the sun. Therefore a library is any building or institution which houses literary and artistic materials, such as books, periodicals, newspapers, pamphlets, prints, records, and tapes, are kept for reading, reference, or lending. A collection of such materials, especially when systematically arranged. (11)

2.1.1 History of libraries

The history of library dates back Since antiquity (Berti M & Costa V.20002) , legions of scholars, novelists, poets, philosophers, artists, have decided it's important to collect knowledge in one place and that facilitate to creation of libraries like The libraries at the Nippur temple and at Aristotle's Peripatetic School, the Alexandrian Library, the libraries at the Persian Academy of Gundishapur, at the Grand Umayyad Mosque at Aleppo, and at Benedictine and other monasteries, the Medicean-Laurentian Library in Florence, the Bodleian Library at Oxford, and the libraries at every college and university worldwide-in all these of these times and places, libraries have been integral to learning. (Bennet S. 20000)

2.2. The Development of Libraries through time

The development of libraries can be divided into three as described by Bennet S namely:

Reading centered

Book centered and,

Learning centered (bennet S.2000)

2.2.1. Reading centered: this is the first kind of library found in Monasteries meant for writing and reading, in this kind of libraries, the libraries have few volume of books, and journals poems etc. therefore it's made up of more reading space than books space. The most important design consideration here is sufficient light and reading space. For example in late 1920s, when James Gamble Rogers was designing Yale's magnificent Sterling Memorial Library, he used the gothic church as his design idiom. Immediately adjacent to the nave-like entrance to Sterling is a large courtyard, on two sides of which are walls with large windows illuminating small bays for reading. This focus on readers is reinforced by a set of reading rooms opening off the nave, rooms dominated by light and reading tables, not by books (Bennet S 2000).

2.2.2. Book Centered: in the second development of libraries things changed, the libraries are been dominated by book shelves or books instead of reading. The reason for this development is because of the creation of industries in the 19th century, during this period papers became chip so it was easy to produce books, journals etc. because its chip to buy books, newspapers so people stop going to libraries because of that. Libraries became full of books without readers. According to brutt the most important design criteria during this period is book shelves, light, book space (book shelves). The color used in the libraries used during this period is usually neutral color (white or cream) because it's believed that neutral colors are not disturbing (reff).

2.2.3. Learning Centered: the leaning centered is the third Development of libraries this kind of libraries is the combination of both Reading centered and Book centered and also information center (computers), the development was aid because of the computer age because of that people have access to information easily. According to bruutt the use of monotonous color is boring because the way people think, work and study is different. Therefore when designing its important to provide computer spaces, Book shelves and also reading spaces.

2.3 Types of library

According to Gupta J. there are basically four types of library namely:

Public library

Academic Libraries

School Libraries

College libraries

University libraries

Special libraries

National libraries (Gupta J)

But Our main concern in this paper is the Academic libraries.

Academic libraries are found in schools, colleges and universities meant to support the students of that Academic environment or in other words "a library which is associated or attached with any educational institution to support its educational programs" (Gupta J. 20000) these libraries can be categorized into three main categories: school, college and university and the design consideration is differ from one environment to another especially in terms of color used and light provided. The color used in a school library may be different from the color used college libraries, likewise the color used in the university libraries may differ from both school and college libraries. For Bighr the reason why we use different colors in each environment is because the students in school think differently and require different motivation than students from both college and universities (reef).

2.4 Color

For humans to see or understand anything we need light and color that can help us to differentiate things. Therefore they affect both our understanding and mood. "Color" is something that happens in the human seeing apparatus-when the eye perceives certain wavelengths of light. There is no mention of paint, pigment, ink, colored cloth or anything except light itself. (reff) Color is obtained from the spectrum of light relating with the sensitive part of the eye that deals with reception of light. The human eye is capable of seeing over 7 million colors. These colors are gotten from the basic blocks of the primary colors, secondary, and tertiary colors as can be seen in fig2 color wheel below. (Kingsley K. 2012)

The color wheel (motion/Kodak/motion/upload files)

A color circle is a visual representation of colors arranged according to their chromatic relationship. Begin a color wheel by positioning primary hues equidistant from one another, then create a bridge between primaries using secondary and tertiary colors. (reff)

2.4.1 Types of color

There are basically three types or group of color namely:

Primary colors

Primary colors are natural colors made up of Red, Blue and Yellow (reff)

Secondary Colors

Secondary colors are gotten from the mixture of primary color; include Orange, Pink and Green (reff)

Tertiary Colors

Tertiary Colors: Those colors achieved by a mixture of primary and secondary hues. (reff)

Attributes of color

There are basically three attributes of color namely:

Hue is the name of a color, such as red, blue, or green. Hue indicates the color's position in the spectrum and on the color wheel. It also indicates the warmth or coolness of a color.

Brightness/ Value: this is the second attribute of color related with lightness or Darkness of color. Lightness is archived by addition of white color to whatever color you require to make it lighter and darkness is archived by adding black color to whatever you require to make it darker

Intensity (saturation/ Chroma) the bright or Dullness of a color. The colors on this scale do not change but its intensity may change

Psychology of color

The Psychology is a phrase use to describe the effect that color have on humans. (Housley S. 2012). Colors evoke our emotions just like music does, music affect our emotions positively or negatively likewise color too. Your choice of color is like your choice of a music track in an album.

Color is cultural. Color is male and female, young and old. How we perceive and choose colors can be affected by our mood (or affect our mood), our immediate environment or our memories of something connected to that color. And this can change over time. ( therefore the meaning of colors may vary from culture to culture, from age etc. e.g. in the west white color is associated with peace and marriage while in the east (china) white is associated with dead (reff).

Color and Age emotion

As mentioned earlier color is young and old, colors tend to have effect on different levels of humans life i.e. the effect it may have on a child that is in nursery school might be different from the from the effect it may have on teenager that is in high school likewise his parents. Young children are attracted by warm, bright colors. As the child matures, preferences change from tints and pastels (elementary school) to bright medium-cool colors such as greens, blues, and green-blues (middle school) to darker colors (high school) such as burgundy, gray, navy, dark green, deep turquoise, and violet (Gale 1933). Similarly, as children mature into adolescence, there is less preference for large areas of primary color, which they tend to associate with immaturity. By high school, the most preferred colors are green (nature, trees, comfort) and light yellow (lively, energetic, happiness, summer). These colors were followed by blue (relaxation, calmness), red (love, romance), purple (relaxation, calmness,Laughing), blue-green, red-purple, yellow-red, and purple-blue. For ( Dagget Willard R. 2008).

2.5 Light

Light is the energy that from the sun, lamp etc. that allows seeing things: the morning light streaming through our windows we could see a tiny glimmer of light from distance (Longman Dictionary). Therefore for us to see and understand anything there must be light, if not we can't understand and differentiate anything and there are two main sources of light: Natural (Sunlight) and artificial light (lamp etc.). (Smith Th. 2006)

Barsky B. A. (2002) described light as thus: the narrow band of electromagnetic radiation which lies between UV (ultra-violet) and infrared rays with wavelengths from 120.0004mm (400nm) to 0.0007mm (700nm) is detectable by the human eye and is known as light.

→ Increasing wavelength → (Barsky B. A. 2000)

2.5.1 Lighting in architecture

Light is one the primary concern of any designer especially in educational settings, such as classrooms or libraries, balanced day lighting is essential for ambient light levels and also enough provision of lighting for the use of the building, controlling cost, appearance, and energy economy (reff) For Kingsley K. Designers prove lighting in buildings because of three main Reasons: the first reason is for functionality secondly for aesthetics purposes and ergonomic aspect. (Kingsley K. 2012)