We were up at the Education Innovation Conference and Exhibition in Manchester the other week and, just as we did at BETT at the end of January, we asked visitors to our stand vote for their favourite colour for learning environments. All the entries were put into a hat and 12 entrants won a pair of tickets for the London Eye. Marks Barfield, the architects who created the London Eye, also designed the original Spaceoasis pod using our patented Curvpress technology and they very kindly supplied the prizes.
Colour plays an important role when it comes to learning environments, it affects how you feel in the space and, perhaps more importantly for schools, how you behave. Red is stimulating, blue is calming and orange is great for brightening up social spaces. None of these colours won, though, and in fact no-one at EICE voted for orange at all!
Drum roll please…
Across the two events it was in fact a dead heat between… green and purple, with 26.2% of the nearly 200 entrants voting for these two colours. In third place with 17.1% of votes was blue, red got 12.3%, orange 11.8% and yellow 6.4%.
Purple is the curriculum colour for ICT, which may have had a bearing on the results, particularly at BETT. Purple is enjoying a bit of a renaissance, particularly among new academies for their uniform, perhaps because it represents a clear break from traditional blue or red. In terms of learning environments, purple, associated with spirituality and opulence, is a good choice for staff rooms and offices and is increasingly popular in secondary schools whose students favour more sophisticated colour palettes.
Green is a perennial favourite in schools. Associated with harmony, balance and nature, green is seen as a calm and peaceful colour. In other cultures, however, green has other meanings. In the Qur’an we’re told that the inhabitants of paradise will wear green garments of fine silk so it has a special significance for Muslims. In China, green symbolises infidelity and disgrace. In Ireland green is associated with the Catholic faith while in North Africa it signifies corruption. Back on the ground at school, green is a great colour for collaboration spaces such as learning commons and class bases.
Thanks to everyone who entered the competition. Prizes have been sent out and should arrive in the next day or two.
If you want some help making smart colour choices for your learning environments, call us on 01952 210197 or email firstname.lastname@example.org