THE MATERIALITY OF COLOUR IN DESIGN EDUCATION: FUNCTIONAL CODES AND CULTURAL CONTEXT

DS82: Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE15), Great Expectations: Design Teaching, Research & Enterprise, Loughborough, UK, 03-04.09.2015

Year: 2015
Editor: Guy Bingham, Darren Southee, John McCardle, Ahmed Kovacevic, Erik Bohemia, Brian Parkinson
Author: Berg, Arild
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, Norway
Section: Problem Based Learning
Page(s): 530-535
ISBN: 978-1-904670-62-9

Abstract

Colour competence is often seen as a basic knowledge introduced in the early stage of product design
education. A knowledge gap was identified that required more advanced learning outcomes for colour
in curriculums of product design education at master levels. How can colour knowledge in product
design contribute to corporate social responsibility? This was explored through a case study approach.
The first case study was a master student’s development of various bottle-green glass lamps in
collaboration with the glass industry. The second case was the development of shades of blue in a
ceramic colour surface used in public art in a chapel of rest. The third case was the use of signal
yellow colour to demonstrate interface areas in an offshore context in the oil industry. The
implementation of all solutions concerned both technical challenges and people’s emotional
experiences of what was meaningful in each context. The learning outcomes of the study were an
expanded understanding of how colour can be substantial in certain contexts. The first was that
knowledge about technical premises in materials was needed to design colour surfaces. The second
was that ethnographic competence was needed to analyse possible emotional experiences of colour in
various cultures. The third was that competence in product semantics is needed to implement a
coherent use of colour as indexical signs in health, environment, and safety.

Keywords: Colour technology, ethnographic methods, corporate social responsibility CSR, master education.

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