Tag Archives: book

Goethe’s theory of colour

Goethe’s theory of colour – Applied by Maria schindler


foreword – “Colours should not be studied theoretically but under the living conditions where they make their appearances.”


“The general cultural life of mankind arises through the individual work of geniuses whether they express themselves through poetry, drama, philosophy, or any of the arts and sciences…….. They are timeless, and no national barriers can limit their universal beneficence. History records again and again what sacrifices have been made to rescue and preserve those thaw ere in danger of being forgotten…..

In years to come we shall still need them all, for the rebuilding of our faith in the reality of human progress.”


‘The method described in this book is based on the fact that ‘man is inherently creative’ and that to live a balanced life this creativeness must be given a chance to develop. In one way or another this holds good for any human being in whatever social condition he may live and whatever occupation he may follow.”


pg 3 ” In modern cities however, the colourless begins to predominate.More and more we seem to live in a world that is grey. The conditions of our technical civilisation warn us that there is a gradual elimination of the general feeling for colour.”


pg 5 ” The trust great impulse in misdirection was given by Neutrons explanation of their appearance in the prism, that they are the result of the splitting up of white light into its component parts.”


pg 50 ” Now not only does the eye answer to colour with colour but it also reacts to light with darkness and to darkness with light.”


pg 65 – 66 ‘inharmonious’ combinations

“.yellow and orange. It is difficult to suggest a form for these two colours. There is so ugh light in them that they seem to spread themselves out and stream away. but after some concentration one finds them fascinating because of their very elusiveness and their cheerful effect.

. orange and red. Both colours are excessively active. They can be magnificent when they appear side by side and together rule the field of vision, but without the softening influence of any other colours they are too irritating.

. Red and violet. Produce a strong but sombre picture, having power and severity. Important and weighty things can be expressed with these colours. With their dignifies beauty and intensity they can make one feel strong.

. Violet and blue. Are easy to manipulate into forms. The softening of the blue receives warmth from the red in the violet. Something of longing, and of in wardens. One feels in a dream – like mood.

. Blue and green. These can produce a picture of nature wherein there is no place for man. We feel dissatisfied and strange in the presence of these colours.

.Green and yellow. We abandon the sub-terrestrial mood that belongs o the green and the blue. New life begins to predominate more.”

With reading this book nothing but the pure expression of rolling my eyes.  I couldn’t quote most of this book because the expression used throughout some would call passion through colours and art i would just say what are you on about.??? Colours are colours yes they do represent certain feelings that have evolved through experiences and time, but the way this book is sheer embarrassment to read. I simply will not read any further as the person who wrote simply needs to get out a bit more either that or calm down on the medication. Theres a limit to passion on  subjects where you just come across needy and desperate to have your thought out there, when lets face it your talking about colour. Colour which is perceived different from each individual, so there can never really be just one perception on one colour.


The applied psychologist


The applied psychologist – James Hartley – Alan Branthwaite.


Pg 22 “Our ego is a major preoccupation for us all. We are very attached to it. We want to strengthen it, rather than diminish it or lose it. One of the main ways we build and strengthen our ego is through roles we adopt and the power and authority invested in them. These give us status, standing, an identity, respect and so on.”


Pg 80 “In studying and analyzing consumers and the effects of advertising, psychologists draw widely from studies and theories of perception, emotion, decision making, language, social influence and cultural experience.”


Pg 80 “What is it that advertising seeks to influence and change in consumers that will affect their choices of products? From psychological studies of human thinking and actions, certain principles (if not law) have emerged which have shaped our approach to understanding consumer behavior, and how to influence it. For example it is accepted that:


.Individual, social and situation factors interest in determining behavior.

. Attitudes and actions are influenced by an individuals subjective interpretation rather than objective reality.

. Differences in ideas, attitudes and preferences arise out of the development of individuals and their past experiences – nothing occurs in location but in the context of what is going on now and what has gone before.

. Unconscious factors as well as rational considerations affect consumer choices.


These principles can be contrasted with the approaches arising from other disciplines, such as economics, that emphasize rational decision making and objective financial forces…”


“Central to the psychological approach(thought at times controversial) has been the principle that the causes of behavior are not always conscious or rational, but are influenced by unconscious associations, memories and wishes. This principle has usually been aligned with Freudian psychology, but it is fundamental to explanation in other areas, such as cognition. For example workon attention and experimental demonstrations of subliminal perception also show that stimuli are processed unconsciously in the first instance and then, depending on their significance, transferred to higher levels of consciousness for further processing. In subliminal perception research, words are presented without awareness by displaying them very briefly, or by speaking quietly through earphones against a background of white noise to mask the sound. It has been found that words, which are not consciously perceived, can colour the conscious perception of other objects or events. In one experiment, the mood and imagery evoked by music were change by words presented subliminally at the same time. In other research using different techniques, emotionally loaded words presented without awareness affected both self-reported feelings and physiological measures of anxiety……

Deliberate subliminal advertising is banned, but the subliminal perception of images and sounds occurs all the time……..

Background music subconsciously alters the perception of ads and the interpretation of the messages about the product.”


Pg 82 “The intuitive level of thinking involves those hard to articulate associations, perceptions and feelings that colour our impressions about objects, ideas, people and events,”


“This kind of intuitive thought is exhibited in dreams where images are personal symbols for the objects being dreamt about, in much the same way as images are used in poetry to expand the meaning and attach particular connotations to ideas.”


Pg 84  Thoughtful, rationally considered, manfully analyzed – Deliberator (conscious)


Past experience, learning, knowledge – interpreter (pre – conscious)


Sensory perception – visual, auditory images – recorder (non-conscious iconic storage)


“There are two distinct ways of processing information and experiences at the higher levels of cognitive perception: episodic knowing and semantic knowing.

Episodic knowing relates to the processing of everyday experiences, such as what we had for breakfast this morning and if we saw it on t.v.. Episodic knowing is experimental and autobiographical as it relates to direct, individual experience…..

Episodic knowing specializes in visual and special processing (faces, places, pictures) and records everyday experiences as meaningful events, images and symbols.”


Pg 85 “Sematic knowing is about knowledge ‘facts’ and ‘truths’, that are abstract and generalized. Semantic knowing is learnt and more deeply processed. It is rational and held in the front of concepts and propositions.”

“Semantic processing deals not with the observable properties of objects (their, colour, shape etc.) but with their abstract attributes and characteristics (their uses and ‘inner’ qualities such as whether they are edible, fragile, fashionable).It is used in the perception of verbal information, either spoken or as text.”


Pg 197 what is theory?

“At first glance psychology appears to have a well developed theatrical base…….however, the discipline is fragmented into several competing philosophical positions with ‘ an advances of theories and minimal consensual knowledge”.


“The first type of theory involves guesses or presumptions. These can be predictive (i.e. something will happen), but either way they involve speculation and require additional data for confirmation.

The second usage of term theory relates to models that employ hypothetical constructs to explain observed data. For example, many psychological theories invoke hypothetical variables to account for observed data (e.g. the concept of ‘memory’ was developed to explain how past experiences change current and future behavior – it is hypothetical because it is not directly accessible, but must be inferred from observations……”


This research was interesting when put with designing a controlled environment. Psychological effects on consumer perception and behavior is a necessary when designing a space that has to be manipulated for most success with the public.

If you can change peoples perception on products that they consume can you not change peoples perception on moral values within a social environment.?


MODERN, Jonathan Glancey, Mitchell Beazley

pg 7:

Modern, we use the word so often that we rarely stop to think what it means. It derives from the latin word “modo”, meaning “just now” or “right now”. It has been a feature of the english language and latin languages for a very long time, even though, when we are thinking about art, design, and architecture, we associate its use almost exclusively with the 20th century and possibly beyond. We find it hard to imagine that architects and designers in previous centuries thought of themselves as moderns, yet they did, and self consciously so.

pg 13: The modern movement

The modern movement was nothing less than a revolution in taste, in style, in the whole philosophy of architecture and design. It was perhaps the first time that architects, artists, designers, novelists, playwrights, poets, musicians, and philosophers rebelled against history. At its most extreme the decorations and canons of taste that had evolved over many centuries and even millennia were to be abandoned. A new aesthetic was needed, one that the most zealous modernists believed to represent a new epoch, the age of the machine. In reality, the modern movement was a complex phenomenon and it would be unwise to attempt to package it too neatly. Even so, there are clear markers inits history, key players in its development, and a number of buildings and interiors that define and characterise this cultural revolution.

The roots of the modern movement lay in the reaction of artists of all kinds to the rise of the machine age. It was clear that the revolution had hanged human life profoundly, and yet the response of architects and their clients was, for he most part, to try to deny the mergence of a new culture, or cloak it in such a way that would make it more acceptable to a part-fearful and part-fascinated public………

But the rejection of stifling historical styles was one thing; the development of a new aesthetic that was redolent of the machine age was another. And yet what should this new architecture look like? The styles of the past had developed incrementally, but in this case the need for a new style was instant. (Interestingly, the dilemma was to find echoes in the ultra-rapid digital revolution in the second half of the 20th century – what should a computer-driven culture look like?)

pg 31: Organic

“The straight line belongs to man,” said Antoni Gaudi, “the curve to god.” Most of us know what the architect of the biomorphic expiatory temple of the holy family (the sagrada familia)in Barcelona meant. For Gaudi the straight line was a problem because it spoke of the tyranny of the mathematical or clockwork model of the universe that modern man had created for himself. The truth, of course, is that Gaudi was a great, if intuitive, mathematician. The geometric complexity of the Sagrada familia has been a mind starching problem for those completing this great temple at the end of the century.


pg 93: High – Tech

This form of design has many roots, some of them new, others dating back a century and a half. What high-tech styling seemed to prove was that the industrial age had matured on the point whereby,  far from being fearful of machines and the image of the machine, people had grown not just used to them, but fond of them. The terrible images in fritz langs metropolis, in which the wretched of the earth are condemned to live in some demonic subterranean world where they feed the insatiable machines that drive the world of wealth, luxury, and power above them, had lost their power to frighten. It is significant that just as high-tech design became fashionable, so the age of heavy-duty industry that had inspired it, at one level, was coming to an end….


Yet again reading into this book i am left at a loss my interest has disappeared. This book boldly states its title as modern yet it just seems the same as most books writing about fashions and interiors that have been and who designed them….. are all books to repeat was has been and not what is to be? modern as a word meaning just now so why talk about the past? just now goes more into the future and away from the past. Another disappointing book, lets read some interesting opinions people not just a repeat of the book published before this.

Underground interiors

Norma Skurka and Oberto Gili UNDERGROUND INTERIORS

PG 1 – Underground interiors is not, as one might mistakenly infer from the title, an exploration into caves and subterranean living spaces. Rather, it is an exploration into the revolt against old concepts of décor and old ways of living – a look at the new living environments closely linked to recent developments in art, politics, and the press, all of which have taken the name ‘underground’ to distinguish them from their establishment counterparts. These anti- establishment interiors are whimsical, mischievous, simple, incredible, beautiful, obsessive, and dreamy……The interiors in this book may also indicate that something in our society has gone wrong and that what is needed to set right is a profound change in our priorities, which go far beyond the mere trappings of the home an enter the arena of social and political responsibility. What has caused the revolution in the way some people are thinking about design and living environments? The answer – the theme of this bokk- is a rejection of the traditional ideas and concepts that aren’t working and, worse, seem to be leading the world to doom. The revolt centers on the conventional status symbols of fashionable design and decoration and also on the seriousness of modern architecture – neither of which leaves room for the emotional outpouring of creative personalities, artists, counterculture groups, and just plain people. The reasons for the revolt are endemic to our society. The commercialism of everyday existence, the blatant bombardment of our senses by advertisements on TV, radio, and billboards, has caused many of us to feel a revulsion for the collecting of material things……………. Who is creating the underground interiors? There are, of course, architects, interior designers, and artists (who have always been the rebels and prophets of any age) who create them more or less consciously. But on a less calculating level there are also movie stars, fashion designers, and celebrities, who create hem simply out of a need to express their own individuality. And there is youth everywhere for whom the generation gap has caused the contradictions of society to seem especially ludicrous and bizarre, who in their ‘pads’ are evolving new modes and life styles. Youth has already turned the fashion industry upside down – no one can have failed to notice the revolution that ripped through the fashion world in the last two years.

Pg 3 – Man today has revolted against this rigid logic that forms the cornerstone of western thought. He has even turned to eastern concepts – to mysticism, to astrology, and sometimes to the occult – to find solace from the pat formulas that led to our present society and its problems. Architects, too, are turning away from the egotism of creating monuments to themselves – an accusation leveled at them about some of their buildings. Also, many young architects are embarrassed to design expensive custom-built mansions for the rich while such a large part of the world goes homeless and cities decay. They have entered the age of advocacy architecture, where participation in planning groups that can exert political pressure to improve the lot of the population as a whole is more meaningful than playing at being master-builder to a handful. The problems of the twentieth century have jolted us all into a new reality. Present social pressures and constraints, overpopulation and pollution, the high-sped march of industrialism, the crime rate, and the frustration we feel in our inability to influence the policies of our government are all bound up in the present revolt in interior design and architecture. The intense pressures of the times beg for a new beginning and some of the first indications of its arrival…There is no heavy gloom, or overpowering moroseness pervading these interiors. Rather, there is humor, wit, flippancy, daring, and audacity proving that man is indeed a thinking animal not so easily fooled by the line that society has given him to swallow. Like cryptic graffiti on the wall, the sentiments that these interiors express cut through the malaise of contemporary existence. Underground interiors mirror the false premises by which we have lived in the past. They prove, moreover, that we can no longer throw up the smoke screen of materialism that status, prestige and privilege are no longer valid value symbols for mankind………..We discern a philosophical basis for design and architecture that is utopian in its idealism. Interior in the chapter that deals with environmental design foretell the death of the cult of the object – indeed, the elimination of all extraneous objects, leaving pure, geometric spaces where the individual alone is all-important. The differentiation between architecture and interior design disappears as furnishings merge into planes of the room. Such interiors become spaces for super man, could mankind ever achieve this plateau of being.

Pg :4 Surrealist interiors: Nowhere are the absurd conditions of contemporary life exposed so devastatingly as in the surrealist interior. These interiors are blatant in their disdain of traditional and conventional concepts of decoration and nothing escapes their caustic cynicism. Like the surrealist movement in art following World War I, surrealism in interiors feeds upon the very unreality of today’s reality. The surrealist interior overlaps and shares many elements with the pop interior. It differs from it only in its sardonic humor and in the more sinister aspects of its creators’ discontent with present status symbols. The designers and owners of these rooms seen to enjoy the most outrageous put-down of society, all it stands for and holds dear. Exquisite antiques and fashionable furniture, for instance, are renounced for foam lumps in garnish covers; walls are splashed with ‘funky’ paint colours or draped in the dernier cri of the commercial furniture houses last year – wet vinyl. Such an interior not only explodes the inherent faddishness in such advertisement by exploiting its grotesqueness in draped walls but also uses it in draperies that create a kind of falsetto parody of the scallops of slippery satin traditionally used. In one interior, an enormous wedding cake made of edible hardened sugar frosting (that guests are invited to nibble) occupies the center of the kitchen, forms the table, and is the centerpiece. It might be construed as a symbol of the relentless consumption of today’s civilization – a society reared to consume everything with insatiable appetite – the planets raw materials as well as the endless stream of commercial products – a society chomping through the natural and commercial landscape like a swarm of locusts. Another indictment is leveled against society by the many interiors decorated with plastic plants. They seem to say that if nature is plundered for manufacturing, then we must learn to adjust to a world that synthesizes natural forms. Here, the eerie greenery in the form of paintings, pillows, and murals that simulate leaves or plants warns us to get ready for the consequences of a denuded world. Though some surrealist interiors can be dismissed as grotesque, many of them are remarkably pleasing and fantastical the stairwell, for instance, with its mural of wildlife and animals mimics a Rousseau painting….

Pg 6: Rather than forecasting the lifestyle of the future, these fantasy interiors are a loud but temporary protest. It is likely that the people who created them this year will tire of their own harangue and go on to make environments that give a more hopeful view of the future. A civilization that once valued artistry, craftsmanship, and a beauty that now entombs these objects in museums the world over cannot adjust to stark ugliness. The real value of surrealist interiors is the ideas presented by their creators. Seeing so clearly the consequences of our present way of life, their outrageous commentaries shock us into rethinking our values.

Pg: 26, Environments: In the last ten years the word ‘environment’ has experienced what might be described as an ever-increasing vogue. The term crops up everywhere – in posters, on lapel buttons, in magazine articles and newspapers, and even on car bumper stickers. For all its iniquitousness, it is quite a new idea when applied to architecture and interior design. Yet, the concept of environmental design is certainly the most important development of this century as it relates to the future of housing and its furnishings and equipment. This relatively new – and portentous – concept, the living environment or environmental design, is still widely misunderstood. These terms are often used to describe more what they are not than what they actually are. To come to a true understanding of environmental design it is necessary to examine the term, where it originally came from, and how it differs from all previous schools of architecture and design. The word ‘environment’ was originally picked up from ecological research to describe the interaction on a living organism of all the physical, biological and climatic conditions that influence its growth and survival. In its reference to homosapiens, the environment carries similar connotations. The living environment for man and thus, environmental design, is concerned with the sum total of physical, social, psychological, and cultural conditions that influence the growth and survival of an individual or a community. These last considerations are precisely what differentiate environmental design from all previous design movements. In the past , design and architecture sought to enshrine the accomplishments of man. Cathedrals, temples, royal palaces, even fortresses seemed to identify the heights that a particular civilization had scaled – and they were intricately bound up in deifying and perpetuating the status quo. The advent of the twentieth century saw the disintegration of many of the institutions that these buildings stood for, the powerful religion of the middle ages, for expel, or the royal dynasties of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. Now man kind has embarked on a new route – based on its increasing awareness of how its supposed progress could, in fact, be contributing directly to mans demise and death. Thus, design, art, and architecture have changed the focus of their pursuits. The more enlightened architects and designers are becoming aware of the role they play in the disintegration of living conditions on this planet. The products that they have been designing foul the air by their manufacture and then litter the landscape by their disposal. Building, no matter how well designed, displace the forests and the plant life needed to cleanse the atmosphere. …… The concern of architects and designers and many ordinary citizens with the growth and preservation of our civilization and their hope of mapping a way out of our present predicament is the basis of environmental design. It is design that takes into first consideration its effect on the environment – the effect not only of the individual house with its four walls and roof, but also of the entire natural environment, earth. Obviously, a handsome eighteenth- century Parisian townhouse filled with Louis XV antiques has little to say about the conditions of present day civilization, or its growth and survival. Everything that we see, touch, talk to , sit on, sleep in, and read is part of an individual environment – as much as are our family, the stars , the H bomb, wars, and the government. That our habitation can influence our psychological growth is something of which we are just becoming aware. We are gradually moving away from a possession-oriented mentality toward a possession-less, psychic, mind oriented mentality, and it is showing up in our design and architecture. Environmental design seeks to place man, habitation, object, and society in their appropriate twentieth-century perspective. The living environment of the twentieth century is a web of functional and esthetic relationships. One flows into the other, is influenced, limited, or expanded by its relationship to all other factors. Environmental design is primarily a streamlining of our living habits, and thus, of our habitations. There is today an acute awareness of space and its psychological effect on us all….The growing population with its ravenous need for hous es has put living space at a premium. ..Our individual space is becoming more and more confined. Environmental design stems from the renewed awareness of our space, and the fact that it is shrinking or disappearing, as well as from the extreme complications and demands of contemporary life. What style shall my living room be? What colour, shall I wallpaper or paint? Wall-to-wall or area rugs? Acrilan, nylon, or wool? Neutral or patterned? How ridiculously confusing and meaningless are these questions to the growth and survival of mankind – and to the preservation of its ultimate environment, the fragile planet earth! Environmental design seeks to do away with much of this senseless confusion. There are still decisions to be made, of course. But largely, the living environment is relatively anonymous and is interchangeable for various occupants. It is a sculptural shell that presupposes an almost ideal existence – at its optimum; the individual environment is spatially free. Satisfaction and serenity come from the inner personal calm of its inhabitant reflected externally by simple, free surroundings. Rooms are space, uncluttered by bureaus, chairs, tables, or ‘things.’ Chairs are cushions sculpted into the space. Lights are unobtrusive – recessed or hidden, built in where needed for general illumination or as highlights for reading and working. Storage is concealed behind panels. There is less of it because there is less desire to hoard possessions that are instantly obsolete.

With reading this book I became very disinterest with its readings and images, the book had an interesting opening it grabbed my attention but then when it defined into more detail I become bored and lost interest the book, seems ancient and doesn’t seem to go into any interesting points other than look at how this room is horribly decorated and look how this other image is decorated. I think there is a far more interesting version to underground interiors and the title is highly wasted on this book.