How Colors Change the Perception of Spaces

Wes Anderson’s movie has a peculiar sense of visual style to present a frame to the audience. One of the most aesthetically pleasing elements is the use of colors that are striking to the eye. The color palette of the frame denotes the entire mood of the set-up; it explains the entire scene to the audience. Anderson has established a trademark style with his muted browns, yellows, and reds. In the movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel he has used many bright and saturated colors. These colors also depict the timeline in which a particular scene is occurring and at the same time, the declining condition of the hotel is denoted by the saturation of colors over the entire film. These scenes with the colors make the audience more immersed in each frame and in turn exemplifies the entire movie experience as a visual.
Frame from the film The Grand Budapest Hotel denoting the saturated color palette of muted browns, yellows, and reds.
Architecturally speaking, the Schroder house in the Netherlands by the Dutch architect Gerrit Rietveld is also a classic example of colors adding a visually and psychologically immersive experience to the users. The house has a strong use of primary colors from walls to the furniture which in turn makes the space more dynamic. The house started an iconic style in architecture knows as the De Stijl which is relevant even in today’s time. The designs were basic but what made them stand out was the use of these bright colors that gave the element an eccentric yet dynamic look. Many exhibitions are still prevalent in museums to showcase the works during this movement.
The Schroder House in the Netherlands
Colors are an integral part of space designing. They affect the sensory perceptions of the users; they determine the mood of a space. Generally, the human brain perceives a color’s effect from the factors it attaches the colors too. For example, if a person sees a bright red colored wall, the subconscious symbolizes this color to blood or fire which in turn gives the user a sense of unease or disturbance. The color red is a dynamic color amongst the entire palette and that’s why a need to balance the amount of it becomes crucial. It is one of the most easily identified colors by the human eye due to its high wavelength.
The color yellow or orange denotes playfulness and joy, majorly due to its association with sun or light. The psychology of a user perceives these bright colors as playful and positive which affects the entire atmosphere of a space. Similarly, the color green symbolizes grass or trees while blue symbolizes the sky or the ocean. Black is considered as abstract as it psychologically makes a person feel heavy and engrossed.
On the contrary, the color Gray is considered as a neutral shade which has a zero psychological effect on the user as a reactive factor. The Capital Complex in the city of Chandigarh uses exposed concrete as a core material. The scalability of the structures and the material denote a sense of power and authority.
The Capitol Complex in Chandigarh
Colors are not only an aesthetic feature but they act as mood determiners of a user. They denote the sense of activity a certain space wants to cater to. They psychologically affect a user both consciously and subconsciously. A good design is the one that is human-centric in nature, which makes the study of color in a space a mandate.

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Saili Sawantt
Saili Sawantt
Architect and Interior Designer by profession, Writing is what she treats as her passion. She has worked as an Architectural Writer, Editor, and Journalist for various design as well as digital portals like ParametricArchitecture, FOAID (Festival of Architecture & Interior Design), Rethinking the Future (RTF), La Polo International, etc. Formerly she has also worked with Godrej Properties Limited (GPL) Design Studio, Mumbai due to her keen interested in learning about Sustainability and Green buildings. Apart from this, she runs her blog 'The Reader's Express'.

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