Paint company AkzoNobel has announced plans to fund a global research project by OMA which will investigate the link between color and economic development. The project is part of AkzoNobel's wider 'Human Cities' initiative, which they say "highlights our commitment to improving, energizing and regenerating urban communities across the world."
The announcement was made at the Venice Architecture Biennale last week. Read on for more on the research initiative.
Commenting on the research project, and AkzoNobel's Human Cities initiative in general, CEO Ton Büchner said: "By the 2050s, more than 75 percent of the world’s population will live in cities. Given that 60 percent of our products are in the Buildings and Infrastructure and Transportation end-user segments, AkzoNobel has an important influence on the process of urban transformation that’s currently taking place.
"We believe that our new research partnership with OMA will make a significant contribution to creating more 'human' urban environments for the world's citizens, so we’re delighted to be partnering with Rem Koolhaas and OMA on this study."
Koolhaas said of the project "The link between color and our emotional reaction to the built environment is well established. But it doesn't stop there. In affecting our perceptions, color has a distinct impact on all the variables that determine the vitality of the city: social, cultural and economic."
This is not the first example of research into color and its effect on economics. The dutch duo of Haas and Hahn have demonstrated the effect of Favela Painting, and in Jorge Mario Jáuregui Architects' 2001 Favela-Bairro project, the relationship between color and poverty was revealed:
"Colors had been absent due to poverty, people work on the inside, but cannot afford to work on the outside. And when a new, planned building rises in the slum - be it a public toilet or a sewing co-operative - it immediately becomes a monument. It was conceived by an architect, it indicates things are changing: People understand they now have the right to what was only available in the so-called 'formal city'."