Designing with colour – a palette with purpose

Following his observations at Clerkenwell Design Week, Box Architects designer Aiden Kearney argues that we must take a responsible and sustainable approach to colour.

“At Box Architects, we love colour. We understand the relevance of trends and the appetite for something new, but we also believe in a more holistic approach.

At last month’s Clerkenwell Design Week, colour experts and trend forecasters ColourHive were predicting the next big thing in the world of colour. Interesting stuff… and I’ll leave you to decide whether the Forest Look, Powder Pink or Dreams of Home (below, left-right) is their pick for 2020.

However, what encouraged me at CDW was a noticeable increase in manufacturers’ understanding and use of colour generally, and its use as a means to improve productivity and wellbeing, and reduce the stresses of modern office life.

The images from ColourHive look great but there are dangers of seasonal trends in architecture and interior design, or having a so-called ‘colour of the month’. When treated like this, colour (represented by paint, coatings and materials) becomes a single-use item; a seasonal throwaway, that’s not ecologically responsible or sustainable.

When Box collaborate with clients to get the desired look and feel, we ‘use our colour palette with purpose’. That means enhancing the workplace experience through colour but also looking beyond trends to maximise the life cycle of the chosen colours or the overall palette. In particular, we look at natural materials and colours, and design spaces that people will want to be in – to interact and collaborate – not just next season but also in the future.”

“There are dangers of seasonal trends in architecture and interior design, or having a so-called ‘colour of the month”

PS ColourHive’s tip for spring/summer 2020 is Dreams of Home with its ‘nostalgic, comfortable, domestic and traditional feel to it. The home rather than the world outside, has become the centre of our universe.’