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An aspect of urban design that I want to share is the use of colour in the public space. I wonder why colour is not often used in the public arena. The use of colour can be defined as colourscape it can be used to activate spaces, providing character to an area but also linking it to cultural heritages. Colour can also be associated to sound and movement, as during the 1950s the first coloured screening was an advertisement released in America by CBS broadcaster (Rosenberg, 2018).

There are certain methods that can help determine what colour to use, when designing new architecture, or the public spaces. This can range from mapping out the contextual colours from the natural environment, or even historical and urban basis of context; to build upon the colours, or find new complementary colours (Minah, 2008, pp.5-7).

Moreover, it can be argued that colour can affect the cognitive behaviour of a person, as certain colour may be associated with specific feelings, or mood. The same colour can also trigger a positive and negative effect, depending on the person. An example like the colour blue can both represent calmness but at the same time cold (Art Therapy, 2018). This can explain why colour has to be carefully selected as everyone has a different interpretation to the representation of colour.



[1] Art Therapy, (2018). ‘Colour Psychology: The Effects effects of Colour’. Online: Art Therapy. <> Accessed: [04 November 2018].  
[2] Minah, G., (2008). ‘Colour as Idea: The Conceptual Basis for Using Colour in Architecture and Urban Design’, Colour: Design & Creativity, 2(3), pp. 1-9.
[3] Rosenburg, J., (2018). ‘When Was Color TV Invented?’. [Online]: <> Accessed: [31 October 2018].  
[4] Dezeen, (2018). ‘Colourful Paris basketball court updated with new hues’. [Online]: Available at: <> Accessed: [04 November 2018].

School of Architecture
Planning and Landscape
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RU

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