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OMA, AkzoNobel Partner on Color Study

Monday, June 9, 2014

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A new global study will focus on the role of color in economic development.

Funded by AkzoNobel and led by the architecture firm OMA (Office of Metropolitan Architecture), the research study aims to provide insight to architects, developers, city authorities, citizens and others.

color in architecture
© iStock photo / RobertoGennaro

"[C]olor has a distinct impact on all the variables that determine the vitality of a city: social, cultural and economic," according to Rem Koolhaas, co-founder of OMA. The global study will look at the extent color plays a role in economic development.

In addition, the study will help to shape AkzoNobel’s newly launched approach to urban transformation, its Human Cities initiative, according to an announcement made Friday (June 6).

The Impact of Color

Rem Koolhaas, a co-founder of Rotterdam, The Netherlands-based OMA, noted that the link between color and our emotional reaction to the built environment is well established.

“But it doesn't stop there,” he said. “In affecting our perceptions, color has a distinct impact on all the variables that determine the vitality of the city: social, cultural and economic.

Seattle Public Library
Bobak Ha'Eri / Wikimedia Commons

OMA's design work in the U.S. includes the Seattle Public Library.

“By combining our expertise with AkzoNobel, we're hoping to produce a study that will provide important insights to all key players in the urban environment.”

Added AkzoNobel’s CEO Ton Büchner, “We believe that our new research partnership with OMA will make a significant contribution to creating more 'human' urban environments for the world's citizens.”

“Given that 60 percent of our products are in the Buildings and Infrastructure and Transportation end-user segments, AkzoNobel has an important influence on the process of urban transformation that's currently taking place,” he said.

The partnership was announced at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia, curated this year by Koolhaas.

Human Cities Initiative

The research is part of the Amsterdam-based coating maker’s Human Cities initiative which highlights the company’s commitment to “improving, energizing and regenerating urban communities” around the world.

Key issues the program focuses on are color, heritage, transport, sport, education, and sustainability.

Human Cities builds on a few existing AkzoNobel activities, such as its employee-led Community Program, Let's Colour program and Art Foundation. It also builds on the company’s work with external partners, such as the Rijksmuseum, UNESCO and the Cruyff Foundation.

More information:


Tagged categories: Aesthetics; AkzoNobel; Architects; Architectural coatings; Color; Color + Design; Economy; Research; Urban Planning

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