How The Color And Form Of Architecture Influences Us
Updated: Mar 16
An Essential Part of Architecture
Color, form, and its application are essential parts of architecture. Its proper use transmits not only implicit information but also feelings and ideas which capture the users and which will affect their overall mood and behavior.
The Inter-Discipline of Architecture and Psychology
With that said, architecture is by extension an inter-discipline, englobing human psychology and that alone must be taken into consideration in every step of the project so that spaces can be designed and created where people can feel truly comfortable and happy.
The Meanings of Color and Shape in Architecture
Color and shapes evoke an e endless amount of emotions and meaning. I will show this to you through a list of colors with their diverse meanings and applications in the realm of psychology and architecture.
Blue: the color we associate with harmony and trust. Just like the ocean and sky, it represents spiritualism, the vast and the serene.
Red: the color of passion, determined by two vital experiences, fire and blood. It is the most vigorous color and the representation of our life force. Associated with black it can elicit feelings of passion and mystery.
Yellow: the color of optimism, lies, and jealousy. The color of illumination and understanding. Pure yellow is the color of illumination and associated with black it becomes a symbol of impurity and insecurity, given that the other colors easily influence it.
Green: the color of fertility and hope. Related to nature, ideology, and a way of life.
Black: black is the absence of color. It is associated with the end, the universe, and the lack of light. Black is the sign of grief for death and inverts all positive meaning of all living colors. It symbolizes deepness and mystery. Due to its natural contrast, it accentuates and frames other colors, making it a useful complement for the effective use and implementation of color in architecture projects.
White: we associate white with beginnings and new things. It is the color of truth, honor, and good. Cleanliness and purity are associated with it. However, it is to consider that under many contexts and cultures, white is considered a symbol of death, given its presence in hospitals (being a more neutral and calm color to show patients).
According to the studies of the Bauhaus Academy, basic figures are always linked to a specific color, making a combination of color and shape something that the human mind recognizes as fitting when applied.
Circles: these correspond to the color blue, given that the sky is blue and we represent it as a sphere.
Triangles: these correspond to the color yellow and the innate association to the spiritual. Two vertexes converge as one, symbolizing the perfect integration of opposites.
Squares: these correspond to the color red, given that it is not a natural shape but one created by man.
Having said that, the psychology of color is practically essential in any form of architecture. You cannot use the same colors and shapes for a children’s hospital (predominance of white, pastel color, and circles) as you would a restaurant (brown, orange, and squares) or any other sort of establishment.
Colors and Shapes must be chosen with the utmost care during the creative process so that we can implement them correctly and give an optimal result in accordance with the identity of the project.