Color Walk: Color in Context

Luanne Stovall

University of Austin, Upper-Level Graduate

Color is not constant or  objectively ‘true’. Color perception varies with i.e., lighting conditions and viewer perception. Design students need to consider the context of where and how color appears as central to their design process. To develop awareness on the interactions of color within an environmental context, we take students outside the classroom on a color walk. While walking, we share and discuss different experiences of color perception within varying local conditions of space, lighting, textures and weather. 

When students think about color within a spatial setting, they need to realize that color perception is contextual to e.g., the time of the day, level of light and weather conditions.  Furthermore, color is not a property of ‘things’ , rather it is a mental construct that students need to become aware of through their own body. The color walk provides an embodied awareness that  the perception of color is highly contextual.

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