Learning_main.jpg

Saturated, warm colours that pair well with earthy tones

Mural at the Aditi Mallya International School, Bangalore

Simple & bold colours at the Aditi Mallya International School.

Asian Paints Edutones colour guide.

Music facility at the American International School, Chennai.

A nature-themed classroom.

Cooler colours have shorter wavelengths and have an effect of sedation.

Nabil Montessori School in Jorethang, Sikkim.

Warmer colours have longer wavelengths and promote external environmental contact and provide stimulation to the autonomic nervous system.

USING THE ASIAN PAINTS EDUTONES GUIDE
Get Inspired by Themes

Each of the themes is accompanied by a moodboard that provides a description of the theme, images that define the mood and the age group, and an example colour palette.

Build a Colour Palette

Using the selected theme, find inspiration across different spaces, and select colour palettes that best suits your project.

Paint the Space

The last step is to translate the selected palettes to the space. From information on products to Asian Paints services, the last section guides you on the actual painting of the space.

Learning_main.jpg
Lab 30 Sep 2015

Colours in the learning environments

Asian Paints in association with Therefore Design embarked on a journey to discover and identify the evolving needs of colour and paint in the education category of contemporary India.

Current Usage of Colour in Learning Environments

Say the word school or college and you conjure up images of friends, teachers, experiences…a veritable flood of memories rush into your mind’s eye. The physical spaces or classrooms of the institution often do not figure in such memories, probably because they have been, and still are in most institutions, inconspicuous and plain, single colour spaces. 

A scan of educational institutions in different parts of the country showed that while education pedagogy and infrastructure have evolved manifold, colour has not kept pace. With a few exceptions, most institutions still follow the thumb rule of single colour for all classrooms and corridors. 

White, cream, pale yellow, beige, and blue are the most popular colours used in schools and institutions for higher education. Some schools opt for bright colours but only in the case of pre-primary classes. The question we then asked; is there merit in having predominately white, monotone classrooms for students? And the answer, an overwhelming no.

Mural at the Aditi Mallya International School, Bangalore

Saturated, warm colours that pair well with earthy tones

Simple & bold colours at the Aditi Mallya International School.

Challenges in Using Colour in Educational Spaces

The need for colour is strong and yet it hardly ever features in any classroom across India. So why this apathy towards colour? The reasons are manifold. Importance of  colour is a subject that very few educators have ever considered and most are not aware that it can impact a child’s learning and behaviour. Many even believe that colour in fact, distracts students rather than assisting in their learning and development. 

Parents are equally ignorant on the matter and while they might conduct an  in-depth recce of the infrastructure available at an institution, colour and quality of paint  is never a concern. 

There is little consciousness in this sector about new paint products and their qualities such as being flame retardant, low in VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds), anti-fungal, and environmentally-friendly, that would be beneficial to the well-being and safety  of children. 

Lack of awareness means that the need to allocate resources towards colour and paints is not important. There is no motivation to use a more expensive product, as there is no direct tangible benefit.

Added to this there are also numerous practical difficulties that act as deterrents. 

Schools need to be repainted frequently, the only time available being a brief span during summer holidays—thus, there is immense pressure to complete the project within a tight deadline. Painting is perceived to be a hassle and all the stakeholders  involved are averse to adding any effort  to the task. 

Variations in colours are not preferred as they are alleged to be difficult to maintain and re-paint. Contractors involved also push for a single colour to make their job easier; to the extent that important aspects and proper procedures like water proofing where necessary, may also be set aside in  the rush to just get the job done. 

We, the design fraternity hold the power to bring about the changes needed in this aspect. Of the numerous institutions, trustees and administrators that we spoke to, all, with rare exceptions, said that they trust the choice of architects and designers on the subject of colour. They may have suggestions but the architect will play a key role in the decision making process.

Music facility at the American International School, Chennai.

A nature-themed classroom.

Nabil Montessori School in Jorethang, Sikkim.

Cooler colours have shorter wavelengths and have an effect of sedation.

Warmer colours have longer wavelengths and promote external environmental contact and provide stimulation to the autonomic nervous system.

USING THE ASIAN PAINTS EDUTONES GUIDE

Edutones Colour Guide for Architects and Designers

The next question that comes to the fore is what can we at Asian Paints do to help the design fraternity to introduce colour into learning environments? The answer is a tool that we call Edutones, a guide specifically put together to realise visions for learning environments. With a focus on primary and secondary school spaces, Edutones features not only classrooms but also different spaces within schools. 

Extensively researched and based on numerous colour studies conducted internationally and in India, Edutones is based on a few key principles and learnings.

The Key Principles Behind The Edutones Guide

  1. Children’s rejection or acceptance of colours is a mirror of their development into adulthood. Younger children find high contrast and bright colours stimulating and they are partial towards colours that create patterns. However once students transition into adolescence, cooler colours and more subdued hues provide enough stimulation without distracting. Being sensitive to each age group’s response to colour is the key in creating an environment that positively impacts their learning experience.
  2. Colours in a room help to stimulate the mind, enabling students and teachers to stay focused on the task at hand. Accent wall treatments in classrooms can help reduce the incidence of eyestrain amongst students. As students look up from their books toward the teacher or the blackboard, the difference in colour helps the eye to relax.
  3. Colour can assist in creating simple systems to aid way-finding. Particularly beneficial for primary school children, who starting at the age of four begin to recognise and match colours.
  4. There is a direct connection between the brain and the body and reactions to colour take place independent of thought or deliberation. Decoding this information further opens up a potential to transform the way we think of colour for educational spaces. Depending on the wavelength of light in the visible spectrum, specific colours impact specific physical systems in the human body.

Using the Asian Paints Edutones Guide 

The Asian Paints Edutones colour guide can help you arrive at the right blend of aesthetics and functionality, to create a positive atmosphere that aids learning.

Get Inspired by Themes:

Asian Paints has evolved five themes that act as a starting point for building a palette: 

  • Vivid and Responsive 
  • Playful and Energetic 
  • Fresh and Fun 
  • Earthy and Orderly 
  • Calm and Reflective

Build a Colour Palette

This section provides inspiration for the five themes and helps build colour palettes. It shows how themes can be translated into different spaces in an educational setting, from interiors —classrooms, administrative areas, common areas, and learning hubs— to exteriors.

Paint the Space 

In this section, Asian Paints provides technical knowledge and information on executing projects, specifically related to painting educational institutes.

With the boom in the development of education infrastructure we are all perfectly poised to create a new paradigm that transforms the way we think of educational spaces. Armed with Edutones, we hope that we can assist you in creating education spaces where colour will have an integral role to play. With our collective effort maybe the next time someone is asked to relive their school days, their engaging classrooms would be the first thing they remember.

Dhun Patel is the founder and director of Pune based Therefore Design, a multifaceted design agency that offers services in communication design, industrial design, and design research. www.thereforedesign.co.in

 

To place your order for Edutones, contact your ColourPRO relationship officer, fill in the feedback form, or visit www.asianpaints.com/pro

 

IMAGES

• Rudolph Buch » commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ismaning_Waldorfschule.Jpg
• Mr Thinktank » flickr.com/photos/tahini/6471329881
• Mr Thinktank » flickr.com/photos/tahini/6471344965
• Mr Thinktank » flickr.com/photos/tahini/6471331247
• Mr Thinktank » flickr.com/photos/tahini/6471355923
• aisch » commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Aisch_music.jpg
• Wiki-uk » commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nabil-Montessori-School-Jorethang-Sikkim-03.Jpg
• Thennadycmf » commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:One_of_ the_Class_rooms_of_St._Claret_College,_Bangalore.jpg
• Gayatri2388 » upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6e/Manipal_Library.jpg