Colour/space : its quality management in architecture : the colour/space unity as a unity of visual communication
In external city environment areas there is a poor understanding and often no conscious use of colour. The experts that work with colour, in terms of the built environment either as projectmakers, or as managers (decision-makers), are poorly prepared to deal with it. As an answer they minimise the problem of colour in architecture, especially in exteriors, simply by omission; or, they introduce colour mostly without criteria - in some projects colour plays only a cosmetic role - supposedly aesthetical. Most project-makers do not consider colour as an integral part of the global design process. Colour theory and teaching courses have been considered supplemental to the mainstream of architectural education; for most part of the students of architecture or landscaping architecture, colour remains a matter of individual taste. People in general are very conscious of colour and texture in the built environment and they really like variations (as some studies done in Sweden (Koller 1981; Mahnke 1993) have already showed). They are negative and critical of austere, colourless environments in our cities; also colour has psycho-therapeutic effects that can be utilised to meet the physiological needs of people living in crowded environments. Colour is one of the basic components of the environment which influences life quality and it can be approached from different perspectives and different disciplines. This research addresses the issue of colour in the architecture of the built environment analysing the behaviour of the unity which results from the straight relationship between colour and space(as quantity of colour): the Colour/Space Unity. The investigation shows not only the existence of this unity, but also that it is a unity of visual communication. In terms of allocating the findings and interpretations through a review of the relevant theory, the author uses a survey methodology - a full test response questionnaire to a wide range of members of society (to test theory) and semistructured interviews with a panel of experts(as a feasibility test of the questionnaire design and contents). The questionnaire findings are used to test the theoretical position through further comments from the expert panel. The research presents as results, not only the existence and importance of the colour/space unity, as a visual communicational one, such as the levels of articulation of the messages in the built environment or the contrast in the relationship between qualification and quantification in colour/space language; but it demonstrates the major importance of the colour/space unity in the architectural project and in the colour planning management within the built environment.