Color Is A Major Element In Scale Cultural Studies Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Color has existed since 16th century in chronological history of twelve works on color theory. Color can be approached from diverse vista such as color theory, psychology, philosophy, and art. In this study, color does not merely mean applying colors on architecture or in interior space; it is a way to show color transforms interior architecture and design simultaneously create a unique atmosphere.

Color is all about the principles and elements of design; the relationship such as wood and nails, assist to create building. So, architect and interior designer may downgrade the entire design if they unable to use color wisely. Conversely, if they have well understanding of color theory and psychology, the result of color can be very outstanding.

In the same vein, color and light are in separable, because they are primary factor in architectural environment. This perfect combination has huge impact on our psychological reactions and physiological welfare. In many of major architecture and interior design today, color and light are also adopted to create astonishing ambience and mood.


First of foremost, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my family who sent me to have a superb education in University of Hertfordshire. Especially my parent, I appreciate for their understanding and moral support. Furthermore, they send me a parcel that full of herbal packets to make sure that I am equipment in order to go through all the sleepless night.

I wish to express my gratitude to my tutor, Polly palmer, for her significant encouragement and offered priceless information regarding the essay. By the way, I would like to special thank to my friends and classmates, Shirley, Gary, Jazz, Jo, Charlotte, Kiki, and Melisa who always been there to assist and share their knowledge. I think this study would not have been successful if without all of them assistance.


''Color is a major element in scale. A small room can have a larger vision by the use of closely related values, hues, and intensity. An immense room can be made to look smaller by marked contrasts of color and value, hue, and intensity. Value is one of the most important elements. Whether light or dark, little value contrast makes for unity, and sharper contrast makes for stronger punctuation" a famous proverb by Van Day Truex, Interiors, Character, and Color. Therefore, color is closely related to interior architecture and design. For an illustration, the principles and elements, like wood and nails, help to create a building. And a building like a color needs a foundation to keep if from falling apart. Just as an interior space is influenced by the building, color is influenced by its surrounding. An interior space can get incomparably impact if the designer or architect unable to use color independently without applying other materials.

Interior space is generated with the principles and elements of design variance of their applications. The principle comprises balance, rhythm, proportion, emphasis, unity, harmony, scale and variety. Other than that, the element of design contains color, form, line, pattern and texture. As usual, the color is to be combined with the principles of design and intended to make designer and architect use of color more successful, especially in interior space. This is because color is kind of magic tools which able to beautify interior space. At the same time, overmuch color and too much of same color might lose the important visual cues within environment.

As designers and architect, they have to fully understanding the complexity of color; therefore, the principles and elements of design have always been consulted by them as the fundamental theory and concept for generating interior space. Color seems design, it is also a personal experience for each individual in art sense, is depending on user's goal. Hence, someone finds ugly, but someone might find beautiful in a same interior space with color.

With valid color usage, an interior designer can operate our experiences in the built circumstance. Understanding this huge power and developing skill in how to make use of it gives the designer the ability to orchestrate the reaction of the inhabitants of the interior space. Color shapes behavior, behavior shapes culture, and culture shape design. Our world is constantly changing, color is also endlessly changing, and approaches to design will lengthily evolve.

Therefore, this essay is aims to how a space takes character through color manipulation. There are four case studies will show alternative color solutions which are Nhow Hotel by Karim Rashid, Poplar Kid Republic Bookstore by Sako Architect, Sugamo Shinkin Bank by Emmanuelle Moureaux architect and Switch Restaurant and Lounge by Karim Rashid. Through case studies, the importance of the relationship between color, architecture and interior space would be proven.


What is Color?

Since color is a division of several sciences and it can be presented in numerous ways. For illustration, Physics, color theory and art. There is fairly difference between the physicist with the psychologist or artist in color sense. There goes a way to explaining color from the viewpoint of psychology. One of the psychologists (Beer,U. 1992) wrote:

''Seldom, surely is the psychological part of an appearance in nature as great as it is in the case of color. No one can encounter it and stay neutral. We are immediately, instinctively, and emotionally moved. We have sympathy or antipathy, pleasure or disapproval within us as soon as we perceive colors."

Beer has concluded the main psychological reaction human being needs color. Paradoxically, people will penetrate deeply into psychology and find out how is the color develops.

Color Theory

Color is a formidable sensation that has the capability to enhance our physical environment, and provide an amazing sense of interior space. Theory illustrates the ideas and concepts which involved in describing and rationalizing phenomena about a particular subject. Thus, color theory is the practice and research used to comprehend the color principle for decades. It is extremely important to use color successfully in every professions, especially art and design. In scientific way, color is necessary because whether in our homes, commercial area or institutional area; color transform our surroundings. Without light, color is disappeared. Light and color jointly lighten up a space, lead to focal point and emphasis, and generate the mood and expression of the interior.

Properties of Light

There are three properties of lights usually experienced in the daily life: reflections, diffraction, and refraction. Reflection occurs when light irradiate an object contains color and material which can reflect, such as metal finishes. Diffraction occurs when light is partly obstructed by an object such as crystal. Lastly, refraction results when light ray moves through a light medium to another, denser medium such as air to water, causing light to bend.

Additive Color

Figure : Additive Color Light Mixing

Red, green and blue are the primary-light colors, but if these three colors of light are mixed, white color is the result. Besides that, multiple colors combination is possible when varying intensities of these lights are generated. For instance, violet is generated when blue and red are combined.

Subtractive Color

Figure : Subtractive color processes mixing

Subtractive color usually use in painting, dying, and inks. The combination of the subtractive primaries will result in the secondary color violet, green and orange.

Color Systems

There are many color theorists have spent years for studying color and providing systems to help people who is interested in expanding their knowledge and enhancing their confidence in using color.

One of the famous color theorists is Isaac Newton. He developed his color theory between 1670 and 1672. He develop the color wheel which contained the visible color of the spectrum( primary and secondary) constructed with their relative proportions, as seen colored light is refracted.

Figure : Color wheel

Another expert color theorist from America is Albert H.Munsell. He created ' color tree ' which is the most widely used color system. His color system is divided by three groups, hue, value, and chroma (saturation). A Color Notation (1905) by Munsell is the most recommended bibliography in art and design schools.

Figure : Color Tree

Natural Color System (NCS) is one of the mostly powerful and used international systems for color communication among architect and designers in 1978. NCS is represented more than 21 countries and also used to provide a several education tool for student and teachers of color theory. The 40-hue color circle is their most outstanding element which using red, blue, green, and yellow as its extraordinary primaries.

Figure : NCS color circle - 40 hues

Color and health

Color can affect our emotions, brainwaves, and biological systems. Color has the ability to increase or decrease our heart rate, blood pressure and mood. Color therapy is using color light treatment to cure specific illness.

Color responses

Color's effect on mood is keep changing if our environment changes. So, color emotional responses cannot be simply measured because different colors arouse different reactions in viewers. The possible meaning of color has shown below.



Impressions or associations (positive and negative)



Exciting for bright red and stimulating for red

Passionate, fervid, active, strong, warm , aggressive, raging, intense, fierce, and bloody

Red is the most dominant and dynamic of colors.


Exciting for bright orange, stimulating for orange and cheering for light orange

Jovial, lively, energetic, extroverted, sociable, intrusive, and blustering

Orange is mellower and less primitive than red.



Sunny, Cheerful, Radiant, vital, High-spirited, egocentric and glaring

Yellow is the most happiest among all of the colors.


Retiring for light green and relaxing for green

Tranquil, Refreshing, quiet, natural, common, tiresome, and guilty

Green represents a withdrawal from stimulus psychologically.


Retiring for light blue and relaxing for blue

Calm, secure, comfortable, sober, contemplative, scare, sad, and cold

Blue is the antithesis of red



Dignified, exclusive, lonely, mournful, pompous and conceited.

Purple is a blend of red and blue.

Color design process

Color is an important element in design process whether for residential or commercial space. Therefore, it must be considered seriously in the beginning of the design process. Color consider as an element of design, thus, it is always studied separately of the theories for the principles and elements due to its complexity.

Figure : Color applications to design model

Figure 6 diagrams showed the relationship between color, interior architecture and design, the principles (balance, rhythm, emphasis, proportion, scale, unity, harmony and variety) and element of design (shape, line, form, and texture). These are related to the design problem, collecting data, analyzing data, and choosing a final solution. It is recommended if color filter through each design stage rather than being a last minute design decision. In addition, residential space is private place where we can design our living environment ultimately according to our personal choices. On other hand, commercial spaces such as health care, work spaces, retail, and hospitality which require more informed decision about color use. These color decision may affect the healthy and welfare of our client if designer never make a good color decision.

Chapter 1 - Nhow hotel

"Elevate your stay"

(Nhow's slogan)

Nhow Hotel: also known as Nhow Berlin. The new generation hotel - Nhow Berlin was launched in November 2010. It is located at a former industrial port, in front of the River Spree in the heart of the city. Nowadays, Berlin is one of the most creative and lively neighborhoods because the site where trading posts once stood at its height of industrialization. The huge four stars hotel is also the first music and lifestyle hotel in Europe which revolutionise the new model of living and lodging. More than just a traditional hotel, the Nhow Berlin offers an interior spatial to travelers, which fuses music, art and architecture into an active and multi-sensory experience.

Figure : Exterior View of Nhow Hotel, Berlin

The appearance of Nhow Berlin is in a of "storage container" which designed by the Star architect Sergei Tchoban of NPS Tchoban Voss. The architecture concept is used of the ''trisection of the building in the shape of the towers.'' (Rashid, k. 2010) The hard-edged harbor architecture was constructed in the middle of the east and west tower, it gives a sense of floating 36 meters above the Spree River and the upper tower protrudes 21 meters out of the building over the Riverbank. It is most approachable and visible sight when seen from the river. Currently, this building has become a distinctive landmark in the Berlin media port.

The New York designer Karim Rashid is the person in charge for designing the interior space of the Nhow Berlin. "My vision engages technology, visuals, textures, color, as well as all the needs that are intrinsic to living in a simpler less cluttered but more sensual environment." (Rashid, k. 2010) He said design can touch people on different stage, and his design concept can continue to determine and shape our dimensional interior atmosphere. Other than that, it also generates new languages and new progressive human behaviors." I always question whether the physical world is as experiential, as seductive, as connective, as inspiring, as personalizable, and customizable as the digital world."(Rashid, k. 2010)

Karim Rashid does not want simply design only for four walls and a ceiling. Thus, he designed an unconventional and diverse space that consists of fresh colors, rounded forms and clear lines. In his design's philosophy, he would like to bring guests to enter another world such as "Alice in Wonderland" for the duration of their stay. To provide guests a positive experience like the feeling of being at home when having vacation in Nhow Berlin. Therefore, is Karim Rashid succeeding to transform the interior of Nhow hotel by using striking pink?

Does pink represents feminine? Based on Mahnke's (1996) research, he realizes that there are numerous repliers got the same answer - yes. "As an alternative, light blue green as a dominant color may be used for both genders, but accents can tip the scale in favor of feminine or masculine. With pink, it is much depends on the exact nuance used; a bubblegum pink will be much livelier and somewhat cheaper-looking than an elegant old rose." (Mahnke, 1996)

In this case study, Karim Rashid used his design principle and proved color is one the most important elements which could transform interior space.

Figure : Reception Area Figure : Main Lobby

"Emphasis is applying the strength of the color to particular area of a space or design element can bring greater attention to important features within our built environment." (Reed, 2010) Upon entering the lobby, guests will be attracted by Karim Rashid's creative vision. The striking pink reception counter is custom-made high gloss fiber glass with inset lighting. In front of the reception counter, Karim Rashid did use the subdued color and soft curves as a feature glass wall; it also combined with lighting effect resulted in a sensual atmosphere in the lounge area.

Figure : Lobby Lounge Figure : Bar Lounge

Figure : Restaurant - View 1 Figure : Restaurant - View 2

The lobby lounge is separated with a glass walls; at the same time, it not merely reflects the sculptural ceiling design, but also indirect light generates a calming mood. Definitely, it suits the guests who are seeking a quiet and intimate atmosphere. Moreover, the Nhow bar is unmissable because the bar itself made of gold-lacquered fiber and seating are voluptuous. Overall, it creates a lavish statement. The dark blue 'digipop' texture couches and lounge chair correspond with the pinky plaster ceiling creates mysterious and feminine mood.

In addition, the bar leads into the restaurant of the Nhow Berlin. "Pastel colors, abundant daylight with the large window surfaces and organic-formed light installations ensure a friendly, lively mood."(Rashid, k. 2010) According to the color researcher (Mahnke, 1996), yellow is represented cheerful and green indicates relaxing. That could explain why both colors are the complementary colors. In visual experiences, the combination colors are delightful to the eye. It generates an inner sense of order; it is a perfect balance in visual experience.

Not only that, the organic shaped lighting fixtures are installed on the ceiling which illuminate the dining space and integrated the outstanding sculptures in the middle of the room serving both as art and object and form and function.

Figure : Guests Room

Figure : Rest Rooms

Mostly, guests are more particular in the room due to high functionality. Thence, Karim Rashid's (2005) "digipop" design is remain as main focal point. So, the room utilized warm gold and exhilarant pink. According to one of the bibliographic - Color and space in Architecture, Nora Luehmann(2006) says exhilarant pink is bringing visitors calming and warm gold is giving a warm and secure ambience. With the color balance scheme, offer guests have a relaxing space which is a starting point for imaginative dreams.

At one level it is possible to argue that is pink color accepted by public? Mahnke (1996) explains that pink color is generally representing feminine; therefore, designers often apply pink color on female house. The light and soft pink is considered ideal for a small girl's bedroom.

Generally, there is also abundance of ordinary people are still unable to accept this kind of funky and trendy designs, especially the man who are Male chauvinism. They think of pink is like gay, babyish, and not cheesy enough. In the common art sense, several people rather design their house more to minimalist or contemporary style. For illustrations, a monochrome living and a dull tone bedroom. Besides, striking color could be applied at commercial and institutional, but for designers who not well in color sense; it may affect the whole color scheme. That is one of the cause and effect. In color psychology, (Mahnke, 1996) had mentioned that pink color represents feminine, sweet, delicate and calming. It is depend on how well designer understanding and applying to the interior space.

Through this case study, (Rashid, 2010) said that he love color because he can feel it is very inspiring to him. Therefore, he really does not like people who are very conservative and afraid of color. "He prefer design that transcends fashionable trends and to work towards searching for vernaculars that echo out Technorganic digital world." (Rashid, 2010) So, he succeeded to prove color has the huge potential to transform interior space by using his own prolific color principle and philosophy. He again proven and identified that feminine color such as pink color has a powerful capability to apply into commercial and residential space.

Chapter 2 - Poplar Kids Republic Bookstore

Figure : Facade of Poplar Kid Republic

Kid republic is a phenomenal space which located at China. It infuses playground with children's bookstore. It opened in 2005 and was designed by 36 years old Japanese architect - Keiichiro Sako. There are containing children's story books in several languages, and abundance of spots for relaxing and reading, Poplar Kid Republic is beloved by kids and parents alike. Currently, this fantasy bookstore is classified as the best kid's bookstore in the world.

The Poplar Kid Republic in Beijing is not just a vibrantly colored bookstore. It also attached a magical mystery playground, a kaleidoscope of shape, fun and practical space. Sako architect asked:" Why colorful ribbons that "wrap" the space and colorful ribbons that "twist" in space?" The answer is the two types of colorful ribbon create a 'technicolour' bookstore for cultivating the curiosity of children.

Basically, Kid Republic has two main function spaces: first floor designed an activity room and all the bookshelves are located on the second floor. The function of activity room is providing education program such as story-telling and animation shows. Sako architect applied the twelve bands of color weave around the activity room. Recesses in the wall and ceiling accommodate light fittings or displaying items and a natural stage auditorium is formed by the stepped floor. He also designed a comfortable surface carpet like a color theory chart placed in the room for children to sit freely or lie down on the floor.

Figure : Activity Room - storytelling

According to a children's television program named as a peep of a different color provided by Chanel nine and TV Ontario (Peep, En. 2012), an educational show by using cartoon to attract children's attention. It is an indirectly way to assist them to explore color. At the same situation, Poplar Kid Republic is a direct way to lead children to understand more about color. As children explore color, they will commerce to comprehend and touch the colorful ribbon on the wall and floor. Eventually, kids will practice scientific skills as they know about color. They will observe and sort several objects by color. Even they will do a simple experiment such painting, talk about cause and effect and share idea to each other.

Figure : The Rainbow Color Ribbon 'twist' and 'warp' the interior

Furthermore, the rainbow stair come with richly color ribbons of diverse length leads the curiosity weight of children to on the second floor. The huge distance color ribbon serves various functions at various area such a dragon whirls and twist in the bookstore; it started from the armrest of the staircase baluster and eventually ends in the room. Sako Architect used river of rainbow as the design concept. So, the question arises: Is color success transforming interior space or just only beautifying the area?

Mahnke (1996) is an expert of color theory since 1973. He said nowadays the scientific has proven regarding the influence of color, it has the huge impact on the human organism, and also on psychosomatic welfare. Therefore, color is cannot be disregarded, because it is an essential element in design.

Based on Frank H Mahnke's research (1996), color cannot be ignored, it has the powerful fascination. Thus, human being always attracted by colorful object compared to plain. Children born in strong curiosity, they are easily attracted by every single object. They feel inquisitive to touch the object that they wish to, especially colorful object. Therefore, all the toys or story books are applied in colorful material in order to attract their attention. Indeed, the purpose of Poplar Kid Republic is providing parents and children space and spending time together with the best children's book, as well as an enjoying reading environment. It possesses bold colors, relaxing reading spaces and hundreds of storied books to enlighten huge imaginations.

Figure : The colorful staircase attract children's attention, follow the rainbow ribbon from entrance door up to second floor

Figure 19 has shown above, a rainbow color ribbon starts at the first floor next to the entrance and follow the rainbow carpet up to stair until the second floor, metamorphosing into several objects along the way. On second floor, a playful bookshelf is designed with holes of different sizes against the wall, not only as reading spaces for children, but also serving as window to pass inner and outer information. Figure 20 has shown that the function of the holes not only design the elevation of the bookstore or create a space for children reading and sitting but also generate the appearance of a pleasant store to public on the outside.

Figure : Exterior appearance of Kid Republic

Figure : Bookshelves- Children is reading and sitting on the stair

Not surprisingly, if parents are waiting their children for an hour in the bookstore, because children can climb and read story book on the mini size of portholes (stair) which is attached to the bookshelves. When child climb on the stair, they feel a new world opens up. This could explain why Poplar Kid Republic bookstore has the capacity to teleport their pint-sized consumers into a world of color.

Figure : Main Lobby: Rear view and Side view

Figure 22 has shown above, the main lobby contains vibrant color and layering visual to welcome customer. Sako architect adopted the colorful fabric to decorate as elevation of the bookstore. There are a lot of affirmative feedbacks from anonymous online bloggers about Poplar Kid Republic. For instance, the bookstore not only provides hundred of stories books, but it also designs a fun and comfortable place in which to read them. Although colorful object is easily attract customer's awareness; however, overstimulation can be produced side effect.

"The chromaticity of the space is overpowering. Although more or less monochromatic, it leads to overstimulation. Extreme complexity to overstimulation can cause changes in the rate of breathing, pulse rate, and blood pressure: increase in muscle tension: psychiatric reactions of varying types; and probably compounded medical consequences , such as increased susceptibility to infection, coronary disease, dizzy and ulcers." (Mahnke, 1996)

Meanwhile, as a human being, different people definitely have different mindset. Some people may think that too much visual pattern or repeating forms will over stimulate an environment. In addition, consumers might be sleepy or dizzy if they are keeping staring at the wall finishes; because the chaotic color forms look complex and confuse consumers.

Evidently, the dominant element is the beautiful rainbow ribbon 'twist and wrap' to form counter, bookshelves, and even ceiling part. Moreover, this bookstore also has offered one of the coolest settings for children and parents to interact with books, because read and play are no separation in children's mind. Frankly, it is a magical world for every child.

Chapter 3 - Sugamo Shinkin Bank

Figure : Exterior Appearance of Sugamo Shinkin Bank

Sugamo Shinkin bank is a credit union working intimately with local company developments in the Japan. The appearance of architecture is a new breakthrough and created by Emmanuelle Moureaux architect. She was born in France and graduated in Bachelor's degree from the University of Bordeaux. Besides that, she moved to Tokyo and set up her firm - Emmanuelle Moureaux architecture and design after she worked at Eric Raffy and associates for two years.

Sugamo Shinkin bank is the latest creation of Emmanuelle architect with her distinct color philosophy. Before that, she designed a mini kitchen-classroom with eye-catching colors named as ABC cooking studio that attracted by Sugamo Shinkin bank president - Kazuhisa. Therefore, the president of Sugamo Shinkin bank commissioned Emmanuelle Moureaux to cope the architecture and interior space.

As a result, she designed a dazzlingly colorful exterior to fulfill client's requirement. Total area of the building is 7,500 square foot; three-story of building come together a relaxing and welcoming mood with an interesting color and nature. Meanwhile, it is solving the challenges posed by site, a corner building also offering little of the hush features of banking services.

There are not merely huge quality cars going by on that motorway, but also a lot of tall buildings surrounding the area. Therefore, the only peaceful place is looking at the sky. So, "my concept grew out of the goal to draw people's eyes upward." That is what (Moureaux, 2005) concerned at the moment. An exterior that she identified as ' rainbow mille-feuille' accomplishes this by piling up 12 panels resin-coated in graduated sorbet colors; hence, despite of customers or passers will be fascinated when they are heading to the bank and walking under the projecting layers.

Figure : Rainbow mille-feuille

There is some doubt that "whether or not the palette truly adapts itself to a particular environmental situation, or is it simply making its own statement?" (Mahnke, 1996)

By understanding on (Mahnke, 1996), "color and architecture go hand in hand. We must realize that form first reaches the human eye by way color, and that if form and color are characteristic qualities of nature, then they cannot be separated from each other. If color is the language of form, it is also the language of emotion."

Due to the site condition, Emmanuelle decided to created in a simply way but also a unique design. With her funky color philosophy, the highest panel color is sky blue, following by spearmint green, lilac (purple), orange, lemon yellow eventually, all colors selected from a platter to modulate the building. Furthermore, since all the vivid colors are applied over huge surfaces, she chose pallid tones for other surfaces in order to keep the color panels more outstanding.

Figure : Exterior Night View

Figure 25 has shown that LEDs is installed in between the color panels. Thus, the colored layers are dimly illuminated and can be separately controlled to show up different colors in different period. Consequently, the building conjures up myriad landscapes during night time.

Figure : lobby and detail of light well

Emmanuelle architect created a repetition of elliptical ceiling void in every single floor. Thus, visitors can see the sky from inside the bank while they are waiting on main lobby. Meanwhile, upon getting in the building, three Elliptical skylights irradiate the interior in a soft light. Emmanuelle felt that the elliptical shape was important. She says "the softness of the ellipse balances the right angles of the building, while the tapering creates a dynamism that draws you in." (Moureaux, 2005)

Basically, Emmanuelle architect also used same design concept and applied in interior space. Evidently, most surfaces are solid white, and the vinyl floor like look blond wood, Emmanuelle repeat her vivid color palette with fuzzy dandelion-puff graphic. Normally, designer would create a stunning design on the wall compared to ceiling design. Conversely, figure 5 has shown that the dandelion-puff graphic almost merely on the ceiling rather than the walls, again to concentrate heed upward. The question appears: is color decorating the ceiling or designing the interior space?

"The location (top, sides, and bottom) of a color within the interior space can make a great deal difference in influencing a room's character, the way it is perceived psychologically, and subsequent reactions to it. A particular hue that is perfectly suitable on the floor may elicit an entirely different reaction when applied to the ceiling.'' (Mahnke, 1996) Obviously, a color has the huge capacity to influence a space differently depending on whether it is located on wall, floor or ceiling. As mention previously, Emmanuelle keeps the interior wall white and emphasizes ceiling design. Thus, the ceiling is ornamented with fuzzy puffs theme that looks like float and drift through the air.

Figure : Bank Machines and teller window on the first floor

Carrying the open ambiance and refreshing with a natural consolidation with the motivation of the open sky, it look similar to the color of the rainbow. On the inside of the bank, teller windows and ATM machines are located on the first floor, together with main lobby which is open space arranged in 14 different colors. Chair upholstery uses several bright colors which are cheery red, pink, orange, and green. The second floor reserved for offices, reception rooms, loan section and 4 courtyards, while the third floor is laid out for facilities for staff use, including cafeteria and changing rooms.

Regarding Sugamo Shinkin Bank, Emmanuelle architect obtained International Architecture Awards for the best new global design in 2012. The International Architecture Awards are regarded as the world's most prestigious for landscape architecture, new architecture , interior and urban planning. Evidently, color philosophy of Emmanuelle architect has proven and verified by the Chicago Athena Museum of Architecture and Design.

Colors and layers are the basis of her design and become significant elements in Emmanuelle's philosophy. She uses colors and layers not as a decoration but designs as three-dimensional elements in order to build a colorful space. Thus, the two elements turned it into a concept - "Shikiri", which means diving (creating) space with color in English, is inspired by the Japanese traditional sliding screens. Through her "Shikiri", she designed a colorful bank in Japan rather than ordinary commercial bank and again proven color has the ability to transform interior architecture and design.

Figure : Main Lobby Figure : Detail of Glass Tubes

Figure : Meeting rooms and offices surround the skylights on the second floor Figure : Color Swatches

Chapter 4 - Switch Restaurant and Lounge

The well-known designer Karim Rashid has accomplished the interior of a luxury restaurant named as "Switch" located in Dubai mall, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The area of Switch is 200 square meters; there is no doubt that it is able to accommodate 110 consumers at the same time. Basically, Switch is served by the South African master chef who is specialized in Mediterranean Fusion Cuisine.

According to the Switch's landlord - Albassam Group (2009), they state Karim Rashid is one of the experts in designing commercial project especially in dining scene such as Singapore and New York. As a result, Karim Rashid resolved out a futuristic design with contemporary; other than that, he designed the restaurant that offers consumers to have culinary scene while enjoying their meal.

(Rashid.k, 2009) said that he wants to has a powerful Switch, a soft organic shape and a continuous composed of symmetrical vision. According to a message from Karim Rashid, there could explain why he not only wants to upgrade the dining standards but also created brand new dining experience not just a necessity. To maintain the standard of brand new dining experience, it is interesting to see that Switch's workers used to be trained to have excellent service with unique personality in order to make consumers feel comfortable.

Based on the research that (anonymous, 2011) provided, Dubai is located within the Arabian Desert. In Design solution, Switch restaurant has a striking composed of continuous symmetrical vision and the entire space wrapped by undulating wall in order to generate an attractive surface for shadow and light, bring to mind the sand dunes in the desert. (Karim Rashid, 2009)

The meaning of balance is harmony and peace. People understand that the yin yang of visual experience is from balance. (Ron Reed, 2010)." This visual process is innately intuitive; however, a series of steps can be used to ensure a finished interior space that incorporates a balance of colors. The contrast between order and chaos sends the message to our brain that something does not feel right."(Ron Reed, 2010).

Apparently, the visual from the facade look into interior space, there would seem like English alphabet 'M'; it is a symmetry element (formal balance). In fact, the inspiration of the undulating wall design is come from the Arabic letter 'S'. "'Shin,' like the Greek Sigma, a play on the word Switch," explains (Karim Rashid, 2009). As a result, the effect of the wall design completely envelops all the Switch's consumers due to the unique of symmetry and balance.

Restaurant is a place that abundance of consumers spends at least one hour for having meal every single day. Consumers should have a good environment to enjoy with their meal. Therefore, Karim Rashid wants to create a space for providing a peaceful dining experience to avoid chaos. Furthermore, the hidden lighting of undulating walls in the restaurant can change color continuously, included red, blue, purple, orange, and etc.

There is not easy to create an awesome global dining experience, unless the restaurant is composed of views, sounds, smells and tastes; then the sense generate personal backgrounds. That is because (Frank H. Mahnke, 1987) said consumers always wish not to eat lonely when having meal in the restaurant. As a matter of fact, they hope to have an enjoyable hour and a relaxing atmosphere in a dining experience.

Another impressed part is the ceiling design. Karim Rashid used Arabic phrases as stylized Inspirational to create a backlit ceiling artwork. Consequently, it become the center point of symmetry and brings up the distinctive dining experience. To support the statement, (Frank H. Mahnke, 1996) had mentioned that light as important as color in the design of an eye-catching restaurant. First and foremost, designers have to provide a good lighting atmosphere but the environment not necessary to be too bright or dark because consumers always need some degree of privacy at their personal table space. If the lighting is over bright, it will destroy the feeling of individual space. Paradoxically, eye-contact is on of the important part in a conversation, so it could bring down the ambience if light is too skimpy. There are many reasons has shown Karim Rashid designed a symmetrical undulating wall and Arabic phase ceiling design.

As mentioned previously, the organic shape feature wall able to change color lighting frequently. Karim Rashid also concerned about color selection, because colors must be specified a tone and expression. So if colors apply on difference surfaces, it can be difference meaning and effect. Upon wall lighting effect, red color represent aggressive and advancing; Orange color represent warm and luminous; blue color represent cool and distant; yellow color represent warm and happy; green color represent secure and calm.(Frank H. Mahnke, 1996). Frankly, it looks a four seasons dining experience in another point of view. It also is one of the design solutions by using color lighting to create a dazzling environment.

However, the organic shape wall design seem be over stimulated, but it may not be obvious. By understanding on Frank H. Mahnke (1996), if an environment consists of too much visual pattern or too strong hues, it may lead to over excitation due to distracting and fatiguing. To support this opinion, there is not everyone endure the funky color lighting and design in long term, especially for handicapped person.

Lastly, the continuous wave seating presents as an efficient and dynamic operating system. He sought to create formidable, neat space that provides an elegant vision. In addition, he also wanted to remove chaos and transform an oasis. All of his intention was to provide truly distinctive atmosphere for Dubai Mall. There is no doubt that switch will become an iconic in the rest of the world. (Karim Rashid, 2009). Time has proven creativity and talent of Karim Rashid, because he got MDIMP Annual Restaurant and Bar Space Award from Switch Restaurant and Lounge.

Figure : Signage of Switch Restaurant

Figure : the color lighting of Undulating Wall

Figure : Bar area - view 1

Figure : Dining Area

Figure : Bar Area - view 2 Figure : Lounge Area

Figure : Under Construction


In a nutshell, color is a study that slightly relates to several fields such as science, art, and intuition. It is possible to construe why color is always the first issue of the list when design are progressing, and it ought to be considered in the initial phase of the design process. However, abundance of people never realizes that in fact color is a one of psychological power. There is also numerous research has been done over decade and shown that colors have a huge impact on the human mind.

The New York designer Karim Rashid used his color philosophy applied to Nhow hotel. The dazzling pink color has transformed the entire interior space and become the initial music and lifestyle hotel in Berlin. Nhow Berlin not merely symbolizes dynamic, lively, stylish and offbeat; but it also remaining the element of local culture. Nhow Berlin considered as an unconventional and diverse space that concluded clear lines, fresh colors and rounded forms. Therefore, the combination of design concept and striking color has become the focal point of Berlin that "simultaneously has worldwide appeal" (Rashid.K, 2009). Conversely, it could be argued that some tourists have the prejudice of pink.

The Japanese architect - Keiichiro Sako has created a brilliant idea that brings it into our real life. Poplar kid republic is a unique space that infuses playground with children's bookstore. The colorful ribbon is the formidable concept of the entire design for creating and cultivating the curiosity of children. An expert color researcher said children react well to vivid colors such as red or yellow color. It could explain why the playful bookshelf is designed with several colorful holes against the wall, it is specifically custom make for children reading story book while enjoying the delight of the ambience. It is true to say that a dazzling rainbow ribbon 'twists' and 'wrap' the entire interior space.

Sugamo Shinkin Bank is located at the corner shop lot with numerous vehicles going by on motorway and surrounding by the tall buildings. There are several reasons why Emmanuelle architect want to create an eye-catching architecture and interior space with the concept 'rainbow mille-feille'. A striking rainbow stacked of twelve panel resin- coated in graduated sorbet color. Moreover, Emmanuelle architect again applied the same concept to interior space adorned with dandelion puff in order to create the visual effect of floating and drifting through the air.

The same designer as first analysis, Karim Rashid got MDIMP Annual Restaurant and Bar Space Award from Switch Restaurant and Lounge. The inspiration design is using balance element to create a striking composed of continuous symmetrical vision in the restaurant. Not only have that, the organic shape feature walls able to change color lighting frequently for creating a unique dining experience in Dubai Mall. There is a smart way to create a distinct ambience in interior space by color lighting instead of a variety of solid materials.

As stated previously, it is no way to avoid color unless there is a darkness space. In my point of view, I totally agree that color has huge capacity to transform interior architecture and design through a couple of analysis. However, not every person responds to color in the same way, so it is significant to commerce by understanding the response that color extract within the normal human being.