21 Apr

Quality Colour

By Justine Fox, Clarity InColour

I've been quite fascinated again recently about luxury. An old topic I know but what does it really mean to us today? The world has taken a seismic economic shift beyond the bling of the early millennium making the traditional trappings of so-called wealth and luxury appear crass and unsavoury. So does luxury take on new meaning to us and instead of being a description of 'how much', does it now become reflective of quality? Quality of time for ourselves, of work/life balance and of the creativity of our master artisans and innovators? (photo above courtesy of Bocci)


How do we express this quality through the colour we surround ourselves with and what makes it so special? For something to be truly luxurious the colouration appears to become more complex and detailed. The simple primary hues that we often relate to disposal or displays of ostentation now give way to more interesting mixes of themselves. They glow with a depth and dynamism that challenges the viewer to identify all the tiny nuances within. These colours are in for the long haul and every time you look at them they reveal something new, a tint or tine that you didn't expect and the idle watcher would miss.


Canadian lighting manufacturer Bocci recently launched a new colour range at this year's Milan design festival, which exemplifies this visual flavouring. They've presented the full visible rainbow as you can see from red through to violet but each hue has a darker undercurrent regardless of whether it's saturated or subtle. Materials anchor our perception and these elements can't help but benefit from the extra layering of colour. Bocci's orb form, warm central illumination and variable transparency in these striking glass pieces enhance this clever colour offering. Wait until you see them in a clustered installation. Utterly breath-taking. I could watch them for hours.


Sergio 07

(photo above courtesy of Pininfarina Group)

The reappraisal of tasteful consumption is nevermore evident than within the automotive industry. With earthier tones fast becoming the core of their colour range. Even the sometimes boring and unsophisticated brown has new standing with enriched cashmere touches and a softly playful reflectivity. Pininfarina showcased their new concept car the Sergio at the Geneva Motor Show 2013. It was named after Sergio Pininfarina the man who is said to have designed the automotive industry for over forty years as head of the Pininfarina Group and who died last year. It's interesting to note that the launch colour shifts slightly away from Ferrari's signature red and takes on a more copper mineral base to it. That Ferrari fire is intensified but controlled in a soft satin finish that is ultimately more refined that it's racy brother. Franceso Fiordelisi of Pininfarina explains: 'The exterior crimson colour was inspired by the original red of the Dino Berlinetta Speciale (see photo below), very intense and deep, developing a modern version including metallic particles and a multi-layer depth effect.'



My final point on luxury for this post is the luxury of choice. Too often we've stuck with a faceless, uninspiring product or environment because purchasing buys 30 in silver grey as the most effective use of funds, but what if you could surround yourself with colours that are more reflective and supportive of you as the individual? Well now you can. Again a first at Milan 2013, Ron Arad has just presented the first Active True Colour piece from Versatile Technologies, Ltd. It's an integrated colour changing workstation and forms part of his new project No Bad Colours. What is really exciting though in this technology is that surface colour once changed by a low power charge needs no other energy source to keep it that colour until you want to change it again. Being a reflected rather than a transmitted process, your environment can stay beautifully relaxing. The colours are affected by the ambient light as they would naturally rather than by a harsh artificial emission as we have with LEDs or the like. For me, this has to be ultimate in personal quality colour.

(below: Ron Arad, No Bad Colour)



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Color Objects encourages you to get a better eye and appreciation for colors and characters. To get a special selection of pics and info for you, we find designers and artists that make colorful work from all over the world. There's a lot of character in colors, and having a closer look will change your view of the world and people around you. So we share a host of pics and info from design, art, cultures and the natural world. All about colors.

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