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Camira chats with Experience Consultant, Laura Guido-Clark

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Going back to the fact that more clients are keen to explore the impact of color on our emotions, how do you see this impacting the way we design moving forward?

Color is going to be really important now. I’ve always believed it’s a representation of humanity. Take all of the footage we’re seeing of empty cities right now - it makes me realise that we, the people, provide the life source of our urban areas. I don’t think you notice how little color is used in the physical infrastructure of a city until these crowded spaces are suddenly empty.  
It’s the same with our homes. I think we’ve all been on enough video calls by now to know there are enough white walls. For me, lockdown only places more emphasis on the fact that we need color. It doesn’t mean that we have to blast it everywhere. As we move forward from this pandemic, I believe designers’ use of color will be very intentional and considered. Personally, I predict it will enter public spaces more than it ever has before.

Are there any architects that we should look to for inspiration around how we can inject color into our cities?

I think we can all learn from the work of Mexican architect and engineer, Luis Barragán. Renowned for using color in the most powerful way, his work has influenced contemporary architects visually and conceptually for years. I just love how he uses block color to make a statement and can’t help but feel happy when looking at his buildings.

Speaking of creating happy buildings, can you tell us more about your non-profit, Project Color Corps?

Taking the notion of designing a happy building one step further, Project Color Corps is a volunteer, non-profit organisation dedicated to creating change by painting inner city neighbourhoods with color and pattern. I like to refer to this as creating ‘Optical Optimism’. I founded this project because I think it’s time to reimagine what an equitable world would look like for under-financed neighborhoods.
I’m thrilled to say we’re growing, with new projects in New York, Chicago and Portland established - we’re galvanizing now. It’s extremely powerful to see the difference we can make by engaging with children and communities within these neighbourhoods. By giving them the opportunity to become co-creators of their space with very established design firms, each party benefits. Not only do the residents ‘feel the love spreading out on the street’, the design firms involved get to use their gift to transform and connect.
It warms my heart.

From happy buildings to creating positive vibes, do we automatically look to brighter colors to cheer ourselves up?
I don’t think there’s just one solution. I believe we are emotionally complex; we don’t just hear one note. We have to provide different notes in a space because we’re different people. There are undercurrents of things we seek but it’s not a one-size fits all solution.
I would say there is a slight human tendency to assume bright color creates more life in a space but for me, I feel like it’s complicated because I think of it in such a diverse way. A unique combination of two things could do this. For example, using color in an unexpected way.
Can disease affect color therapy?

Yes, it is an influence. We are in a very poignant time, whilst we’re all experiencing something together – it’s a unique thing. I do believe there can be an undertone of anxiety for all so it could shift the way we’re looking toward solutions and something that calms us. The commonality is that we’re each looking for something that makes us feel whole and connected again. This will lead us to be more empathetic towards each other, so the way we seek color will ultimately be impacted by this.

With current events forcing us all to adapt to a new normality, how do you foresee our approach to design changing?

Even before the pandemic, I noticed that wellbeing was certainly considered more in design. To be honest though, I don’t know how we’ll ever move forward without wellbeing being the first thing we think about as we approach design. We all have a responsibility to approach design from a human element, if anything, I believe lockdown has forced us to reflect on this and therefore I think this will be at the forefront of post-pandemic design. In my opinion, sustainability has to be part of this. I don’t think we can think of these things singularly anymore, we need to think deeper and more intentionally.

How about our mindsets as society? How do you think these might change post-pandemic?

We owe it to ourselves to be thinking, where you spend your time and who you spend it with is intrinsic to living well. The issue of trust is going to be huge as we re-emerge from lockdown. Whether we’re looking for this at work; in public spaces or our mode of transport – we will want to know that whoever designed the place or object has thought about you as a person.
The same goes for the ways in which we will co-create and generate ideas moving forward. There needs to be a greater understanding of people’s needs. Just as there’s a big difference between independent and collaborative work, offering silence and connection is going to be paramount in all environments.

How do you believe our changing mindsets and opinions on the importance of color will shape future trends?
No one color can serve or satiate our future needs. We will seek a level of intuition in design. At Love Good Color we go really deep by observing process and science.
As part of this process, we analyse the social, political, economic and emotional climate before distilling these findings into human values as I believe this is what drives us. Universally, the number one value right now appears to be empathy. I don’t know how any of us can come out of this current situation not believing that what happens to one of us happens to all of us.
Naturally, we’re in the midst of a highly introspective time but this will manifest outside as these shared values and desires translate into color, materials and pattern. Looking at the future of color specifically, I don’t imagine this being one single hue - it’s much more nuance. I can see a complexity of color. From palest to brightest to deepest… layering color will be key.
You’ve certainly left us with some poignant points to reflect on, do you have any other thoughts you’d like to share from your personal experience of lockdown?
This isn’t just about having something be over and life will continue as normal. In my opinion, this happened for a reason and we are looking for a way we can re-emerge a better society and better world. If this is the case, we will all believe there was a value to the pain caused by this virus.
We owe this to all the people risking their lives and to ourselves to emerge as more kind and loving people, the greater good of the whole. 
One of my mottos recently is ‘one foot in the front of the other, let’s stay present’.

Instagram: @lovegoodcolor
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