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DULUX TRADE HELPS BRING COLOUR TO THE CLASSROOM


The debate into the effect of colour on the users of a building is longstanding, with many different parties suggesting a direct link between a colour and a resulting behaviour. However, with little conclusive evidence in the marketplace to back up these claims, Dulux Trade has carried out its own research to assess if it could definitively say whether a specific colour really can significantly and universally affect behaviour.

The research conducted by Dulux Trade, in conjunction with partners*, was instigated by requests for advice from architects and designers and examined the best colours to use in an educational setting. Interestingly, the project concluded that the way in which colours are used together with the features of a room or building is far more important than the specific colours chosen individually.

To examine this area in more detail, Dulux Trade approached The Sorrell Foundation, which was set up in 1999 and inspires creativity in young people by improving their quality of life through good design. Its programme, Joinedupdesign for Building Schools for the Future, was launched in 2007. This puts pupils' voices at the heart of the Building Schools for the Future process, by setting up pupil client teams to consult with local authorities, architects and designers who will work on a school rebuild or refurbishment.

Ann Noble, Marketing Manager, Colours and Tinting for Dulux Trade, explains: "We had just received the results of our research study into the effects of colour in different learning environments and wanted to expand this further to understand how and why younger people, when presented with choices about their environment, match and choose certain colours together.

"Each human being can react differently to situations, it's what makes us all unique. For this reason, it is so difficult to find conclusive scientific proof to anticipate just exactly how an individual will react to a colour. What we do know is that it is crucial to get the right colours schemes for the right environment.

"We gave the pupils working at The Sorrell Foundation a colour unit, similar to those used by Dulux Trade in professional decorating stores, consisting of over 900 colours which could be used to fulfil a school design brief that they were working on. We then sat back and left the students to their own devices, observing how they intuitively selected colours and without even realising, creating coordinated palettes of colour too. It was a worthwhile exercise for us which produced some interesting insights to add to our knowledge bank of the education sector. We've learned a lot, and this can be passed on through our team of colour consultants, to architects and designers currently working in this sector."

Tom Doust, Director of Education for The Sorrell Foundation, adds: "Having been contacted by Dulux Trade, we wanted the pupils to get as much out of this project as possible. While creating their school's brief, the pupils worked using the colour samples provided to developtheir own colour schemes. The Dulux Trade team was there to learn, but the pupils who participated in this exercise also gained a greater understanding of how colour can influence schools of the future.

"We were also looking at re-painting the teaching rooms in the Learning Centre as they were quite dark and had scuff marks on them from years of use. From its research into colour in educational environments, Dulux Trade advised that we should look to brighten up the rooms to give students more welcoming and inspiring surroundings in which to stay and learn; the company supplied the paint we needed and the Learning Centre is now looking fantastic.

"When schools join up with the UK design industry to benefit from its experience and skills, pupils learn so much more. Colour plays an integral part in design and through this project we may even have encouraged some budding interior designers of the future."

Email: ruth.harman@tangerinepr.com


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Hill Farm, Linton Hill, Maidstone, Kent ME 17 4AL
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