Breathing Colour by Hella Jongerius

Breathing Colour by Hella JongeriusImage courtesy of The Design Museum

Breathing Colour by Hella Jongerius
The Design Museum, London
28 June 2017 –24 September 2017

 

We see the world in colour but rarely do we appreciate how it shapes what we see. In this unique exhibition, the respected designer Hella Jongerius presents a reading of the world through colour. Drawing on years of research, she sets out to make us look deeper at the way colour behaves – on shapes and surfaces, in shadows and reflections. Through a series of phenomenological studies and experiences, the exhibition makes us question one of the most elemental aspects of design. The ultimate aim is to pit the power of colour against the power of form.

 

Breathing Colour by Hella JongeriusImage courtesy of The Design Museum

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From Isaac Newton to Bauhaus teacher Johannes Itten, some of the most influential theories of colour have emerged from personal experiences. But with the industrialisation of colour that subjective quality has been lost. Today, there is no place for questioning in the objective, standardised RAL, Pantone or NCS colour systems. Pigments have been chemically optimised, made consistent and static. How can we open up colours again? How can we relate to them in a more intimate way?

 

Breathing Colour by Hella JongeriusImage courtesy of The Design Museum

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This exhibition explores the dynamics of colour through a series of phenomena, including shape, material, shadow, reflection and illusion. How does colour behave on different forms and textures? What happens if you bend or fold a surface? How does a hue change at different times of the day? Where does colour end and its shadow begin?

 

Breathing Colour by Hella JongeriusImage courtesy of The Design Museum

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Hella Jongerius studies into such questions form the basis of what is an extraordinary sensory experience. The exhibition contains hundreds of dynamic elements, from textiles and porcelain tiles to what she calls “colour catchers” and “3D colour wheels”, multi-faceted geometric mobiles that display the complex behaviour of light and movement on surfaces.

 

Breathing Colour by Hella JongeriusImage courtesy of The Design Museum

 

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Woven into this visual experience are Jongerius‘ observations from a career spent thinking about the way colour relates to our lives. She explores the cultural associations of colour, and how artisanal uses have differed from industrial ones. It is both personal and educational.

 

003Image courtesy of The Design Museum

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Rich in sensory experiences and layered with cultural interpretation, this is an exhibition that inspires both design industry insiders and a broad audience drawn to the dynamics of colour in design, art and life.

 

more. designmuseum.org

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