At the same time that we are experiencing the color yellow, we are also neurologically compensating for the
Before (left) and after (right) photos of two lobbies in the corporate office building of a financial services client, Kitchen ideas Shashi Caan, 1995. Phenomenological investigation into experience can be applied in design terms. The actual physical interventions to the before-and-after states of the two hallways are minimal but result in a massive experiential impact. The top two photos illustrate the dramatic change in the spatial and qualitative perception of the same lobby after it was modified with the use of tonal variation (of the same hue) and sound (through the introduction of marble borders). In the bottom images the design intervention was even smaller. Only the light bulbs were changed from a cool to a warm color light.
But as a result, the two lobbies appear to be differently proportioned and with very different experiential qualities.
Lack of other colors in the room. As a result, when we look through the space to the next gallery, it seems in the glow of retinal excitement to be bathed in deep purple (yellow’s opposite and afterimage) -though the walls are actually white.59
This process is predicated on a method similar to Goethe’s: “Eliasson thus makes the spectator’s visual processing part of the aesthetic equation, opening the space of his work to the generative workings of human vision and in turn interweaving body and room, ‘external’ events and ‘internal’ sensations.60 The project offers a visceral and three-dimensional experience of the afterimage effect commonly studied in color-theory classes, mostly in two-dimensional applications. Just as art renders perception visible, design should pursue phenomenological explorations in order to be able to manipulate both the internal and external sensations that comprise human experience.
Installation by Joseph Hilton McConnico, Hermes Museum, Seoul, South Korea, 2006. This clever and conceptual space is wonderfully balanced with its inspiration of intrigue and call for exploration. A small, narrow space, the room appears to be heightened and widened with the use of mirrored walls and a backlit ceiling. The exhibition displays are evocative of ever extending tree trunks, which are solid from one viewpoint and showcase small display windows from the opposite side. The viewer is invited to move closer to view the treasures exhibited in the enclosures.
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