Colored skins and vibrant hybrids: Manipulating visual perceptions of depth and form in double-curved architectural surfaces through informed use of color, transparency and light
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2022

The past decades of research on color and light yielded vast knowledge supporting their informed use in architectural design. While there currently exists a rich body of knowledge and methods geared to affect the perception of depth and form in tiled, opaque architectural surfaces, not many such methods have been developed for double-curved, transparent, in-mass colored surfaces. The perception of depth and form in these surfaces relies on a complex blend of parameters, such as color combinations, illumination source, angle of viewing, location of shadows and reflections, material thickness and grade of transparency. To determine the visual effects caused by some of these parameters, experiments based on visual observations were carried out involving handcrafted, in-mass colored, undulant architectural surfaces. The insights from the experiments then served to develop four color strategies for architectural surface design harnessing the discovered effects in diverse ways. Through this, the study has sought first to observe and understand the effects of color and light in perceiving undulant surfaces, and second to highlight the potentials of harnessing these effects in the design of expressive architectural elements. The main insight from the study is that informed and deliberate application of color and light yields a wide range of potentially interesting perceptual effects in double-curved architectural surfaces, such as spatial filtering, gradient screening, vibrant massing and animate reshaping. Such effects, applied in an architectural context, can help to fulfill the demand for physical environmental enrichment in the digital era.

translucent and transparent color

form and depth perception

double-curved surfaces

in-mass color and light interactions

architectural surface design


Malgorzata Zboinska

Chalmers, Arkitektur och samhällsbyggnadsteknik, Arkitekturens teori och metod

Delia Dumitrescu

Högskolan i Borås

Monica Billger

Chalmers, Arkitektur och samhällsbyggnadsteknik, Arkitekturens teori och metod

Eva Amborg

Chalmers, Arkitektur och samhällsbyggnadsteknik, Arkitekturens teori och metod

Color Research and Application

0361-2317 (ISSN) 1520-6378 (eISSN)

Vol. 47 4 1042-1064

Arkitektoniska konvertibler: på väg mot ett alternativt konstnärligt förhållningssätt till att utforma interaktiva arkitektoniska omgivningar

Vetenskapsrådet (VR) (2015-01519), 2016-01-01 -- 2020-03-31.






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