Seven Colour Contrast Materialised

Mikkelsen Maria Kirk – Denmark, Designskolen Kolding

The colour classes at Designskolen Kolding are based on the theories and exercises developed at the Bauhaus School in the 1920s. The students’ examinations of colours are carried out using goache, hatchings with markers and printed digital work. All work is as such executed on paper. Through this work the students learn about the basic principles of colour physics, colour perception and about the interaction of colours. Later in their studies most students will implement this colour work into practical design projects, where they have to include both three-dimensionality and combinations of various materials. Adding these two elements has an enormous impact on the perception of colour. When the light hits a three-dimensional form, a number of colours will appear in the graduation between light and dark. When the light hits a material, the colours will be reflected differently depending on the material surface.

CMF (Colour Material Finishing) or CMD (Colour Material Design) is a growing design field and CMF designers are represented in many multinational companies that develop digital products, automobiles, footwear etc. By introducing CMF to the students, material and light will be included in the colour classes. The colour is therefore understood as an interaction between these elements and the complexity of teaching increases. The project “Seven Colour Contrasts Materialised” examines how this implementation of material and light affects the way we understand the classical colour theory. The project studies Johannes Itten’s seven colour contrast carried out with colours on various materials and three-dimensional form in order to propose new teaching methods and exercises for design students.