Posts tagged #Thesis



I came back from college on a semester break, and was sitting with my family around the dinner table, and — I don’t know why I said it — but I said, “The number five is yellow.” There was a pause, and my father said, “No, it’s yellow-ochre.” And my mother and my brother looked at us like, ‘this is a new game, would you share the rules with us?’
And I was dumbfounded. So I thought, “Well.” At that time in my life I was having trouble deciding whether the number two was green and the number six blue, or just the other way around. And I said to my father, “Is the number two green?” and he said, “Yes, definitely. It’s green.” And then he took a long look at my mother and my brother and became very quiet.

Thirty years after that, he came to my loft in Manhattan and he said, “you know, the number four *is* red, and the number zero is white. And,” he said, “the number nine is green.” I said, “Well, I agree with you about the four and the zero, but nine is definitely not green!”
— Carol Steen
I was telling Carol that it’s kind of like figuring out that you have a belly-button. You know, at some point you just notice, and start playing with it! [laughs] Then, for a while, you get *really* into it: “Wow, a belly-button! Ooh, this is cool!” And after a while you get bored with it, because, after all, it’s still there, and then you realize everyone has one. Except that not everyone has synesthesia.
— Karen Chenausky
Carol's Alphabet

Carol's Alphabet

Karen's Alphabet

Karen's Alphabet

One example of synesthesia being distinctly unpleasant: I was at the dentist, and he was drilling. And I don’t like the sound of the drill — but the color orange that completely flooded my vision, I couldn’t shut my eyes, because they were already shut! [laughs]
— Carol Steen
“It’s made things interesting because if I’m trying to remember a name or number I can just use the colour to jog my memory. I’ll grapple with remembering a name, but know it ‘looks red’ and that will eventually help me determine it.
— Lauren Fritsky

sources: Carol's Webpage, Karen's Webpage, Lauren Fritsky's Webpage

WHAT'S NEXT: Research other unique ways people experience color. Say color isn't intangible, but if a person could feel the color orange, or listen to it, taste it. Also, what things have been designed as either a source to people with these unique experiences, or maybe for the regular ole' joes that don't get to see the alphabet as a rainbow; what things could be designed to give them a similar stimulant. 

Posted on February 20, 2014 and filed under Senior Thesis.

Thesis .02


As I've gotten further and further into my research into the wide umbrella of the psychology of color there seems to be various avenues in which this project could be taken. 


What colors give a person anxiety. serenity, or anger. How does this fluctuate from person to person? How can a single color, depending on the hue, go from being a joyous color to an anxious one. 


A visual tone that is intangible could change a person's decision in an instant; what is safe and what isn't safe, what is culturally acceptable for specific genders, what to eat, which business we trust more with our money or our health. The list goes on and on. It's amazing the amount of things that trigger choices each of us make, maybe without even knowing it.  


The understanding that each person has a different spectrum. And what I see might not be exactly the same blue or tree or sky that another person sees. This is most obvious in cases of color blindness or synesthesia. Most of us tend to assume, or not even consider, the fact that we don't all see the world the same. A website might say Red means fear or passion, but I believe a person's history effects how they perceive color. Hell, maybe their Granny had red curtains growing up so they associate red as a nurturing color. Simply put, it's all objective. 

plate 1 with 2.jpg


SYNESTHESIA: A condition in which one type of stimulation evokes the sensation of another, as when the hearing of a sound produces the visualization of a color. Someone could hear the color purple / see a letter or shape as a color. Mingling of the senses. FASCINATING RIGHT!

The letter “N” is sienna brown; “J” is light green; the number “8” is orange; and July is bluish-green. The pain from a shin split throbs in hues of orange and yellow, purple and red...
— Ingrid Carry | LiveScience
When I think of a word, I am aware of its color and the color of its component letters. The phenomenon is consistent enough that I can rely on it to help me remember things like phone numbers and proper names. I call it my letter-color synaesthesia.
— Cassidy Curtis

sources: LiveScience SourceLetter-Color Synaesthesia

NEXT STEPS: Interview people with Synesthesia.

Posted on February 13, 2014 and filed under Senior Thesis.

Thesis .01

Thesis Topic: The Pshycology of Color

In visual perception a color is almost never seen as it really is — as it physically is. This fact makes color the most relative medium in art.
— Josef Albers

People will actually gamble more and make riskier bets when seated under a red light as opposed to a blue light. That's why Las Vegas is the city of red neon. Don't paint a baby's room yellow they are more prone to crying. Teachers don't grade papers with red pens because it's too aggressive. We've all encountered these type of color perceptions. Color in its raw form is extremely primal, but is actually something very complex.

For my thesis I'd like to explore the variations in the perception of colors, and find a way to make an interactive experience for my thesis audience. 


RED: Primal, a signal to re-act, to fight, or to flee. Danger. RED: Cultural, an emotional symbol that reflects aggressive/passionate behavior. Love. How can one color mean so many different, conflicting things?

BLUE: Peacful, tranquil / lonely, sadness GREEN: Growth, Regeneration, Healing / Envy, Jealousy

PURPLE: Culturally has been known to be associated with the gay community, but is also the most holy of colors in the Catholic church during lent. 

BRAINSTORM: Mood Rings, Colors Culture to Culture, Emotional, Primal compared to cultural, colors as personas, How can one color mean multiple conflicting ideas, How does color inflict various emotions. 1963 Josef Albers and his Interaction of Color (illuminating visual exercises and mind-bending optical illusions, remains an indispensable blueprint to the art of seeing.) 

Mentor: Art Therapy Instructor

Resources: Messages & Meanings: A PANTONE Color Resource by Leatrice Eiseman Color Psychology: How color effects kids. By: Kitty Lascurain The Magic and Logic of Color by Maria Popva Color an Emotional Connection by: Roberta MacLaren

So, What's Next? I am going to continue to research each avenue of this. Then narrow it down to which area I'd like to focus visually on. 

Posted on February 4, 2014 and filed under Senior Thesis.