I first started meditating when I was a junior in high school. The lacrosse coach at the time, Doug Worthen, had decided to share his mindfulness journey with the school, and he started an introductory course for anyone interested. At the time, mindfulness wasn’t quite the buzzword that it is now, and most of us knew nothing about it. What had drawn me to it was one of the items on Doug’s list of mindfulness benefits: self-awareness. I was obsessed with the idea of understanding the self - not in a philosophical way, but in an egotistical way. It drove me crazy that I could think of myself one way and be perceived completely differently by those around me. I wanted to understand how I was seen so that I could “fix” it somehow, so that I could make up for all that I felt I was lacking (social energy, self-confidence, charisma, everything that ‘popular’ people in high school seemed to have and I seemed to lack).
It may seem like interior design is stalled in neutral — those ubiquitous white-washed walls, neutral furniture and accents of leather, natural wood and metal. But in perusing the rich hues splashed on the pages of design magazines and Instagram feeds, it’s clear that color hasn’t really gone away. So what does color mean for interior design today — and how can we use it?
The History of Color, Examined
Color, and the many variables associated with it, have long fascinated creative types, according to “Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color,” an exhibition running through Jan. 13 at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City. The show explores color theory — and its evolution and application by artists and designers — via dozens of rare books pulled from the Smithsonian libraries, posters, textiles and furniture.
“The topic is one that everybody can relate to, but one we often take for granted,” says Jennifer Cohlman Bracchi, who curated the exhibition with Susan Brown. “In doing the research, I found it fascinating how many different types of people from different backgrounds became obsessed with the topic and devoted decades of their lives to trying to create the perfect color model or finding scientific color harmonies.”