Quote: Michael Taylor

“To be successful, a room must contain the element of contrast-in forms as well as in colors and textures.”

~ Michael Taylor

Charring Cross Road

Courtesy of jury member Andrew Moor

127 Charing Cross Road is an office building immediately adjacent to Foyle’s Bookshop, an international bibliophile landmark in the heart of London’ s Soho di strict. As part of the refurbishment of this building the architect, in collaboration with Andrew Moor Associates, proposed the installation of forty external dichroic glass fins, each eight metres (25 feet) tall. The south side, seen in this picture, has thirty of these identical fins, made in three sections and tapered at the top and bottom.

These fins are laminated and toughened with dichroic glass. Each fin appears as a slightly different colour to its neighbour, creating a gradating rainbow of colour from both the interior and the exterior, colours that constantly change as the sun comes out or goes in, and the direction of the incoming light sources changes throughout the day and night. As the viewer moves, so the colours change, altered by your shifting angle of incidence.

The final result is both startling, yet curiously soothing. The colours blend so smoothly into each other, changing slightly as you move past them creating a dramatic but calming effect.

Color Definition #1

WHITE – White is commonly associated with purity and innocence. White lacks colors of any kind. Since it lacks color of any kind, it is the most popular choice as a background color, as all other colors will be seen in sharp contrast. However, stark white is very cold and can, in some settings, appear almost blue. There are many different shades and tints of white, from cool whites to warm whites. By mixing cool whites with cool colors, and warm whites with warm colors, you will find the best blend. View Vanceva Whites

Juror #4: Pitupong Chaowakul

Founder, Supermachine Studio, Bangkok
Supermachine Studio

Pitupong was born in Ubonratchathani, Thailand – a small town 600 Kilometers east of Bangkok. He moved to Bangkok when he was 11 for further education, later earning his degree in Architecture from the School of Architecture, Chulalongkorn University. In 2003, he received his Masters degree in Architecture from the Berlage Institute of Architecture, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, while working with Nox architecture in Rotterdam for a year.

Pitupong returned to Bangkok, Thailand in 2003, founding a cross-disciplinary design studio with 5 friends called “Thisdesign,” w here he designed for a wide range of projects from concerts and interiors to architecture. He then joined the artist group, “Soi Project,” traveling and doing installation projects in Japan, UAE and the UK. He has also lectured and taught in various schools of design in Bangkok.

Pitupong founded Supermach ine Studio in 2009. In 2010, Supermachine was chosen to attend “iLight Marina Bay” in Singapore, where they built the “Animal Tree,” a lighting installation sponsored by Philips lighting.

Also in 2009, he was commissioned as design director for one of the biggest outdoor music events in Thailand, the Big Mountain Music Festival. The second annual event successfully drew more than 40,000 people in 2010, and he is currently designing the festival for its third year.

Supermachine Studio’s project, “Harbormall,” won the 2010 Solutia World of Color Awards®: Inspired by Vanceva and was featured with projects from architects around the world.

Most recently, Pitupong was one of the keynote speakers in the international forum, “Archifest 2010” in Singapore, organized by the Singapore Institute of Architecture.

More Information

Supermachine Studio
57/7 Soi Chokchairuammit 16/13 Jompol Jatujuk Bangkok 10900 Thailand
T: +66-(0)-22766279
F: +66-(0)-22766278

Factoids Part 5

Black rainbow sighting!

Kahuku, Hawaii

Two fishermen reported seeing what looked like a black rainbow arching from the mountain to the ocean at 9:00 P.M. at night

Can a black rainbow occur at night?

“Moonbows” coincide with a full moon and are the result of light refracting through water droplets in the atmosphere. If the water vapor is in the right place and if the sky is clear, a bright full moon acts like the sun and you will see a rainbow at night.

The rainbow may appear black, but all the colors are there. “It’s just that there’s no blue sky to paint it against.”

Note: This is not a common occurrence. The clear skies and moist air of the Hawaiian Islands make this location one of the few places where a “moonbow” can be seen.

Source: “Moonbows only appear to be black,” June Watanabe, Honolulu Star Bulletin, August 17, 1999

Green Mice

Scientists reported that feeding mice a special diet of Christmas tree mulch caused the mice to turn green. Well….not exactly. It’s not what the mice ate that caused some mice to turn green. They were born with a green gene from a jellyfish. The University of Hawaii research team that cloned mice (Yanagimachi, Perry and Wakayama) has developed a new method of transferring genetic information (DNA) from one organism to another.

The technique called “Honolulu transgenesis” is reported in the May 14 edition of Science.

“UH Green Mice: A medical promise” – by Helen Altonn, Honolulu Star Bulletin, May 13, 1999

Fall presents orange ad the new “in” color (1999)

The fall color of “Sunkist” orange is popping up everywhere in fashion. From designer-prophet Helmut Lang’s fall collection to Gap vests and Absolut Vodka.*

Why orange? Perhaps it all started with the acceptance of khaki and grey as the new neutrals. Also, one might speculate that orange follows the acceptance of pink in the spring.

*The author of ColorMatters notes that Apple’s dazzling new iBook laptop computer is offered in only two colors, blue and orange!

The Dallas Morning News, as reported in the Honolulu Advertiser September 7, 1999

Baa baa blue sheep, have you any wool?

A farmer in Adelaide Australia announced that she has produced the first flock of blue sheep without using dye. The owner, Nancy Follett of Sleaford Bay, said she has bred 100 sheep with fleece ranging from light blue to navy. It took 25 years and several generations of breeding to get a brilliant blue color.

Fool nighttime bugs

If it’s summer in your part of the world, use this tip the next time you barbecue or eat outdoors. Place a bug repellent yellow fluorescent light bulb over your table. Place a standard fluorescent bulb at the opposite end of your dining or patio area. Bugs can’t see yellow! They’ll be drawn to the whiter light away from your table.

Color Revolution: Purple asparagus and red corn?

Brightly colored vegetables are now available in W. Atlee & Burpee’s seed catalogue. The red corn is appropriately named “Ruby Queen” and the yellow carrots (absolutely no trace of orange) are named “Sweet Sunshine.” How about some “Purple Passion” asparagus? Burpee’s phone number is 1-800-888-1447 .

Source: “Vegetables now come brightly colored”, Honolulu Star Bulletin April 25, 1999

How do chickens with male hormones eat their colored food?

When chickens were fed male hormones, they pecked at their colored food in different ways. They ate all the red until it was gone, then all the yellow. The other chickens (no male hormones) ate all the different colored food in no order.

Does this provide a clue to multi-tasking abilities of the male species? Also, could this also explain why men hate shopping ?

It all comes back to nerve fibers and how they relate to visual stimulation.

Men tend to focus on singular tasks, such as reading the newspaper, and get irritated when interrupted. Wives can’t understand why men can’t do two things at once.

Source: “Men are from caves, not Mars,” by Janet L. Martineau., Newhouse News Service, Honolulu Star Bulletin February 8, 1999
Editor’s note, Feb. 2011: We tried to find more information about this study and could not verify it other than the citation about the article in the Honolulu newspaper.

If all things are equal, what makes a product or label catch the consumer’s eye?

Hint: the answer is related to color.

Second hint: It may be also be something about the surface effect of a color.

Answer: A metallic look stands out. A survey found that when all things are identical, shoppers chose products with metalized labels by as much as 26.7 percent over similar products with plain-paper labels. For example, pasta sauce 18.5 percent over plain, raspberry water 12.5 percent more and cooking oil 10.5 percent. Note: The study was sponsored by manufacturers of metalized and coated papers.

Source “All that glitters may be the label” by Judith Schoolman, Honolulu Star Bulletin, October 1997.

Design Project Profile: Christian Lacroix

Christian La Croix Daikanyama, Tokyo, Japan

Architect: Christophe Carpente
Laminator: Sanshiba Glass
Glass Installer: Ueno Glass

Most fashion designers favor minimalist white backgrounds to showcase their creations, but French designer Christian Lacroix has boldly taken the opposite approach with his boutiques across Asia and Europe.

Using a palette that is self-described as “jelly bean colors,” architect Christophe Carpente has created moveable, colored glass display fixtures that glow jewel-like though a glass façade. Clothes and accessories are displayed in varying shapes of glass boxes, each constructed from laminated glass using Vanceva® interlayers, which inject vibrant color into each fixture.

The boutiques are inspired by art galleries, which allow maximum flexibility and change of environments. “We wanted to avoid freezing the design into immobility,” says Carpente. With some collections, the work of different artists who influenced and inspired the clo thes is presented. The moveable environment provides mounting space for painting, video and theater presentations.

“I wanted the boutique to be a real place of discovery, whose artistic allusions changed with the seasons.  The design of the removable, colored furnishings comes from this art gallery approach,” says Carpente. “The idea of creating a labyrinth and playing with the idea of movement matches Christian Lacroix perfectly, since he likes changing directions and rethinking things.”

For his flagship Tokyo boutique, Christian Lacroix chose eighteen different colors for each of the shops’ furnishings. Each merchandise group or collection has its own color ambience. Christian Lacroix jeans on the ground floor of the flagship store, for example, features brilliant blue, green and orange, while on the first floor more pastel tones have been chosen for the prêt-à-porter space. “With this kind of concept, I knew we would create a quite unusual effect, something that no one has ever seen before.  It was very exciting,” says Carpente.

For Carpente, his project for Christian Lacroix reaffirms the value of using glass in architectural design: “Independently of the widespread use of glass in architecture, this particular project gave me an opportunity to experiment with glass in designing furnishings and fittings.   I found it matched perfectly the need for transparency, and the infinity of shading and sizing that I had decided on as themes for this project.”

Ruengrit Hairdressing Academy: Bright Colors Pop in Fashion-Forward Hair Salon

Bright orange and sunny yellow glass panels infuse the atmosphere of this hair salon with confidence and energy. Customers to the Ruengrit Hairdressing Academy want the latest hairstyles and the laminated glass architecture certainly reflects this cutting-edge mentality. With its bold color and modern style, this hair salon has a unique identity easily distinguished from ordinary salons. The architect remarks, “The colors create a mood where the customers feel refreshed and confident. The laminated glass…makes a great impression on the customers.”

Project Category: Interior

Project Name: Ruengrit Hairdressing Academy

Location: Central ChaengWatthana, Bangkok, Thailand

Glass Laminator: Thai Techno Glass Company (Brand : BSG)

Photographer Credit: Thai Techno

Factoids Part 5

Blue blood a lifesaver

The sapphire blue blood of the horseshoe crab is the world’s only known substance that can be used to test for contaminants in every drug and every vaccine in the world. The crabs are “bled” by a fast and painless process. 24 hours later, they are returned to the ocean.”LAL,” the protein ingredient in the crab’s blood, is dropped into a new batch of drugs. If the mixture is contaminated, it clots instantly. The same process is used for every intravenous substance and artificial limb in the U.S., as required by the FDA.Prior to the discovery of “LAL,” drugs were tested for contaminants by injecting them into a rabbit. If the rabbit died or got sick, the lab disposed of the drug. Lab technician, Jay Nichols, sums up the horseshoe crab’s magic, “No other animal contributes so much to science without dying in the process.”

Source: “Living fossil’s blue blood a lifesaver” by Helen O’Neill, Associated Press, The Honolulu Star Bulletin, A–12, September 7, 2000

Contact Lens Alert

After receiving reports that some teenagers in the U.S. are tinting their contact lens with food coloring, The American Optometric Association has issued an alert. They warn that this can be very dangerous. Some people can have serious allergic reactions to the food coloring. Also, since the dye is not sterile, this could lead to eye infections. Furthermore, dark colors may impair vision.

Source: “Food -colored contacts? Don’t even think about it”” the Honolulu Advertiser, Ohana, p.1, June 11, 2000

What happens when baboons eat pink flamingoes?

A new food source is changing the color of baboons near Kenya’s Lake Bogoria. The primates have been dining on pink flamingoes. More than a million of these birds have recently arrived at the lake to feast on the lake’s protein rich rotifers and blue-green algae. The dead birds are an easy food source for the primates. Researchers have reported that the monkeys’ new taste for flamingoes is turning their gray coats into a tawny shade.

Source: Earth Environment Service as reported in “Earthweek,” the Honolulu Advertiser, May 21, 2000

What was the date of the first colored cellular phone?

Nokia, the Finnish telecommunications giant, was the first to offer cell phones in colors in 1992. Today, electronic devices are trading in their muted hues for something more vivid and vibrant. “What’s your favorite color?” is going to be one of the most important questions for consumer PC buyers, states Steve Jobs.

Source: Honolulu Star Bulletin, March 28, 2000

Black Tulips -The elusive “Holy Grail”  of the tulip world

The quest for the valuable “black tulip” has persisted since 1850 when Alexander Dumas (author of the Three Musketeers) wrote his novel, “The Black Tulip.” No truly black tulip exists to this day. The reason: It’s impossible.

Dutch hybridizers are still working on their own specialty – the elusive black tulip. Frans Roozen of the International Flower Bulb Center in the Netherlands explains: “To be truly black, the color would have to be absolutely devoid of any hues or overtones of other colors.” In nature this happens only in death.

Nevertheless, many tulips are sold as black tulips since colors are always perceived in relationship to other colors. When dark purple tulips are placed against a green background in bright sunlight, the effect is black.
(Color Matters suggests that you get out your crayons and try this!)

“Black tulips remain an elusive goal” Knight Ridder News Service – Honolulu Star Bulletin January, 2000

Commentary from some color pros:

All tulips are black in the dark

In the absence of any reflection at all, by definition there would be no measurable light coming from the tulip.

If the tulip was surrounded by other black tulips in a black room with one light, then colors from around the room or object would not play with our eyes, but we would not see any tulips and there would be no reflected light, and we wouldn’t see anything.

But, use infrared film, and you will see the black tulips painted red. So, maybe it is not the question of ‘has there ever been a black tulip,’ but could we even SEE a black tulip if there was one. There would be no tulip, only a hole in space (a black hole!) consuming all visible light that reaches it. So, how could we even know if there was a perfectly black tulip? Answer: find a black hole that shows up on infrared film as a tulip, that wasn’t visible otherwise.

Larry MacDonald

Death by Cyan

The color we know as cyan was once made from cornflower petals and was known as “corn blue.” In the late nineteenth century the poisonous chemical cyanide was used to create “corn blue” dyes and pigments for commercial purposes. After a series of “cyan poisoning” deaths occurred in the silk flower industry, the color was discontinued. The name “cyan” was revived when color photography became popular. The traditional art world shunned these new technical artists of photography. Consequently, photographers used this color term to separate themselves from the rest of the artists.

Today, the term cyan has been revived by the computer artists. Once again, perhaps this is a form of “technical” upmanship since the art world first rejected computer generated art.

Source: Odeda Rosenthal, Inter-Society Color Counciil News, July/August, 1999 p. 5

Mellow yellow ?

The color yellow may be taking over the marketing world. Research from Pantone reveals that a yellow background with black type is the the best color combination for printed material. Tests show that this combination scores the hightest in memory retention and in legibility. It’s also the color that the human eye notices first. Move over Big Blue?

Source: The Costco Connection, December, 1999

Natural Blondes Are an Endangered Species

A new book states that natural blondes rely on a recessive gene which is being dominated by darker-haired genes. Kathy Phillips, author of “The Vogue Book of Blondes,” explains that migration and open marriages have increased in Scandinavia and Northern Europe, the epicenters of the blond population. Experts point to Africa for the next population expansion. These people will travel and their darker genes will absorb the lighter gene pool.

Phillips predicts that by the time this happens, genetic engineering will allow us to tweak our genes and go blonde anyway.

Source “Blond Gene is Dying Out” by Lyndsay Griffiths – Reuters, Honolulu Star Bulletin, October 7, 1999

Quote: John Ruskin

“The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love color the most.”

~ John Ruskin

Renaissance Hotel – In the Midst of a Chaotic City Scene, This Hotel’s Bright Colors Make a Bold Statement

View Renaissance Hotel Project Profile

Visitors to Bangkok, Thailand will immediately notice that the Renaissance Hotel is no average place to stay. Inside and out, the building’s laminated glass twinkles enticingly to customers wishing to experience relief from the monotony of ordinary city hotels. Laminated glass and glass films were used in the design to customize the simple structure and also to emphasize the building’s clarity of construction and ability to reflect light. Because of this, the hotel appears to be a towering, colorful glass sculpture, which never fails to catch city-dwellers’ attention.

Seamlessly blending the primary colors, while also incorporating the hotel franchise’s symbols was a challenge for the architects, but the end results were more than satisfying. Unlike other city hotels, the Renaissance Hotel was meticulously designed on both the interior and the exterior. The interior’s red and yellow color palette creates a magical atmosphere enhanced by the sunlight sparkling through the windows, while outside, the blue-hued glass panels set the hotel apart from its chaotic city setting.

The overall concept of the building’s design was to emulate a luxury, high-end hotel that would draw in cus tomers from all over the world. Indeed, the media has latched on to the hotel’s unique design and sparked a keen interest to use the building for location filming, fashion shows, and launching major events. By integrating colorful glass panels into every aspect of the design, the architects and designers have ensured that the Renaissance Hotel’s unique glass design will continue to capture the imagination for many years to come.

Project Category: Interior

Project Name: Renaissance Hotel

Location: Ratchaprasong, Bangkok, Thailand

Glass Laminator: Thai Techno Glass Company (Brand: BSG)

Photographer Credit: Thai Techno Glass

Architect: PIA

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