Is Calgary Colourful?

AZ |

mC:t    2015.03.04    #makeCalgarytalk


While driving on Stoney Trail to Deerfoot South, I noticed how many neighbourhoods in Calgary not only have homogenous home designs but all have a very minimal colour palettes; mostly a slight variation of gray, tan, beige and some muted colours such as taupe. The gray skies that were occurring on the day of the drive made these neighbourhoods look like depressed, post-apocalyptic spaces that lack vibrancy. The question here is, can colour spark liveliness in a city? Can it increase the quality of our daily lives?

There have been many studies based on human’s response to colour and they have found that different colours do affect our emotions and moods. However, when colour is applied to our city, can it go beyond just affecting our mood ? Can it change our perspectives towards different areas of the city?

One of the most famous examples of colour increasing the quality of life of inhabitants is the Favela Painting project by Haas & Hahn. The project aim is to plaster and paint an entire favela in Rio de Janeiro. Small scale pilot projects have already occurred in Rio from Haas & Hahn and they have received an overwhelming positive response not only from the locals living the Favelas, but also from the rest of the world. The locals have noted that they have an increased self esteem towards the area they live in and non-Favela dwellers are now starting to change their previous perception of these areas. Click here to see a short clip of the impacts they have made through this project.

If Calgary can take inspiration from projects such as this, it can also increase the quality of lives of our locals. Here are examples of what Calgary could look like if we were to add colour in spaces that lack colourful vibrancy. Click on the photo for a larger view:

Edworthy Bridge



And here are examples of what Calgary could look like if we were to take away colour from vibrant spaces:

Sunalta school before nad after
mardaloop scaled down2

Although colour preference is subjective, you are still able to see from these examples that colour is important for creating vibrancy in our city and it should not be shied away from. The point is not to paint your entire home in Fuchsia pink, but rather to expand our minimal colour palettes and see the benefits colour has on our city.







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