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Color Design & Technology

POLI.Design - Consortium of Politecnico di Milano
Program Duration: 1 year
Intake sessions: April 2018 finish March 2019
Program Cost: 6,950 Euro ( $ 8,650)
The course will be delivered in English.

Ten didactic units and the internship compose the didactic plan. The first four teaching modules, run by Associazione Italiana Colore, are dedicated to developing fundamental skills in terms of the theories, methods and tools of color design. The next five are dedicated to developing advanced design and color skills in five contexts: interiors, exteriors, industrial products, visual communication and fashion. The module Empowerment aims to develop soft skills useful for integration in the labor market in view of the final apprenticeship, which will involve internships at companies and professional firms in the industry. 

Fundamentals: theories, methods and tools

Didactic unit 1: History and Perception of Color. Colors have emotional, cultural and symbolic valences: they arouse emotions, they provoke reactions, they can make a message stronger or weaker. These interesting properties have been known since antiquity. Assuming that the color "does not exist" in the physical world, but is the result of our visual system to a spatial configuration of lighting stimuli, we can understand how its complexity has always fascinated scholars and artists from antiquity. This module will present the culture of color, starting from its history, and then investigating the aspects of perception that are at the basis of its complexity. The perceptual mechanisms that affect the color and vision in general will be examined and understood in order to enable the student to recognize, anticipate and design them. 

Didactic unit 2: Colorimetry and Color Systems. This module is dedicated to the color physics, optic and measurement fundamentals. Although the color is a subjective characteristic, colorimetry allows to measure, standardize, communicate and represent the color of a surface or a light source in an accurate way. We will present the theoretical basis of perception and colorimetry, the photometric and radiometric measures, different color spaces and methods to calculate color differences. As an alternative to classic colorimetry, the color can be selected, represented and communicated through atlases and color systems . To the participant will be presented the main systems in use among scientists, artists and industry professionals: Munsell, Pantone, NCS, RAL, etc. In this module the essential technical skills that are the basis of the color designer will be presented, whatever the application areas on which it will choose to specialize in the future.

Didactic unit 3Digital color. With the diffusion of new technologies, more and more aspects of communication and color reproduction are becoming digital.
In this module we will provide the theoretical and practical fundamentals to manage, view and reproduce the digital color applied to different media. The module aims to provide a comprehensive knowledge of the processing chain and digital color reproduction (from scanner to camera to printer), with particular attention to the limitations and problems associated with the use of different devices and color profiles.

Didactic unit 4: Color Applications. Designing with color can sometimes look like a matter of personal preference. However, the success of a project that requires the conscious choice of colors is based on the experience, the preparation and the diligence of the designer. This module will explore through examples and case studies the profession of color designer in various professional contexts: from the marketing to visual communication, from restoration of cultural heritage to photography and film, architecture and advertising, product and lighting design and more. The aim of this module is to show how the knowledge acquired in the previous modules can be applied in most professional fields and applications. 

Project work
Didactic unit 5Color in communication design. The creation and development of brand begins with visual identity which, with its set of denotative and connotative symbols, ensures its recognition on the market.Within this strategy, whose mechanism entails the interaction of several factors, color is an essential expressive tool of characterization.
Based on the notion of color as a ‘sensory whole’ which requires cognitive and perceptual knowledge, short practice sessions of inquiry are provided about the above topics, as well as creative activities (based on a given brief) aimed at the development of a color design methodology. To that aim, participants will be supplied with operative guidelines for the development, planning and management of such methodology.
Didactic unit 6Color in fashion design. The course program, in form of a project work, will be dedicated to the definition and the use of color in the world of textiles and fabrics. From clothing to accessories, from upholstered furniture to soft decoration for interiors, the program will teach how to create a textile trend book, explaining the influence of material and tactile values on the perception of color and the importance of balancing colors with weaves and patterns.
Trend books, in fact, are tactile and cognitive tools meant to represent the styles, the colors and trends of the newest collections, essential tools and source of inspiration for the development of future collections of fashion brands.
During the project the students will also analyze the main differences between organic and chemical dyes according to the different dyeing techniques (such as the "tie and dye" technique or some of the most common digital printing processes). They will therefore be able to define a project of their own learning some basic elements of the dyeing process for the definition of final color (considering, for instance, the importance of temperature or humidity in traditional dyeing techniques) and they will also be asked to chose colors and techniques balancing the issues of sustainability and renewable resources with the best possible "color performances" in terms of brilliance, stability and production costs.
Didactic unit 7Color in interior design. The course program, in form of a project work, will be dedicated to analyzing the possibilities of application of a new color design in the creation of innovative retail spaces that may ensure an harmonious relationship with brand values and corporate identity. 
You will experience different approaches to retail design, proposing a new type of commercial space (permanent or temporary) where color shall be an integral part of the experience design, by assonance, identity, or by contrast. 
Similarly, you will develop the themes of material and color treatment of outer surfaces by getting to know their relationship with the interior design and the issues of historic preservation.
Didactic unit 8Color in the design of industrial products. The aim of this workshop module is to provide a methodology to design CMF (Color Material and Finishing) through the simulation of a real project. Iconic products will be identified on the market; students will design the CMF variations according to the author's poetic, the technical and economic feasibility. The main focus of this project work is to investigate the relations between shape, material and color: particular attention will be placed on the finishing (glossy and matte, metallic and pearlescent, etc.). The final output will be realized with the cooperation of companies that operate in the field, which could provide products such as paints, samples of materials, which will help the participants acquire technical skills.
Didactic unit 9Color in the urban space. The lecture is going to address the close relationship between the color in urban spaces and the meanings of the human relationships that take place within it.
It’s going to highlight the role of the chromatic and perception project to improve urban identity, a sense of citizenship and the relationship among different roles. Four cores of this lecture are going to analyze aspects related to the perceptual phenomena into the urban spaces, providing the theoretical basis and tools for a procedural praxis with the support of images, cognitive maps and case histories. 
The lecture will focus on the aesthetic upgrading of buildings in modern construction, to solve their visual impact. It will underline preliminary analysis to study the volumes and the areas of visual noise of the building, in order to design the appropriate collocations of colored backgrounds, modifying the visual and perceptive reading of its surfaces. 
I core: It introduces the chromatic and perceptive project to identify the interplay between skills, established roles and the new areas of action. 
II core: It addresses the issue of the evolution of vision and cognitive perception and the characteristics of the natural environment where they have developed.
It analyzes the importance of colors as an aid to understand the meanings of natural and urban scene. 
III core: It highlights some aspects of neuroscience that help understand the mechanisms of reading the colored surfaces of a building.
It discusses some color projects hypothesis, suggesting the correct tools and procedures. 
IV core: It provides information on the methods and practices of color and perception design through case histories. 


Beatriz Travieso - Color Design Student

Price: 8,650 $
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