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The rise of colour tripping

Are you feeling Green, Blue or Pink today? If you follow ChromaYoga on Instagram – or better yet, have been to one of their sessions – you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. The new London yoga studio roots its classes in colour, scent and sound, using designed sequences of the senses to bring about a specific state of mind in participants. After taking part in one of the Blue classes, you may feel hyper alert, focused and awake. Yellow aims to bring about energy, and Red to boost power, mood and sleep.

In the art world, colour-based experiences are also enjoying a peak in popularity – and sparking formidable queues. When Ann Veronica Janssen filled a room at London’s Wellcome Collection with coloured mist in 2015, the exhibition was fully booked almost instantly. Pamela Rosenkranz is another artist making experiential colour her signature: a new exhibition at Milan’s Fondazione Prada materialises acid green, while her liquid pink concept for the Swiss pavilion at the 2015 Venice Art Biennale was arguably one of the catalysts for Millennial Pink.

So why this emphasis on colour experiences? In our A/W 17/18 forecast, Earthed, we outlined the rise of Chroma: the growing urge we are now feeling to ground ourselves – immerse ourselves – in the power of colour, and to ponder and play with its materiality. Colour holds a magical quality: tactile yet immaterialised, changing constantly with the light, and meaning so many different things to each of us.

We also highlighted experiential colour as a trend to watch in the report Design Ideas – 10 Key Trends For 2017. Part of the move towards extreme escapism, colour tripping taps into our growing urge to seek refuge, comfort, distraction – or a new feeling altogether – in experience design.

As this urge grows, we want to colour trip not only in our yoga classes or our art visits, but to bring the magic into interior spaces and our homes too.

At this month’s Milan Design Week, refracted light, and lighting that casts creative and colourful shadows, were confirmed as a major trend. Amanda Yamasaki‘s rainbow-hued lighting was one of a number of products to play with ombre, scattered light and immersive colour.

And of course, the Instagram effect plays into all of this too. There’s no denying that a shot of a room filled with coloured mist, or a protagonist cast in beautiful coloured light, is a definite crowd-pleaser.

The take-away? Expect to see experiences become bigger, bolder and more sensory, with colour playing a major role. Experiential colour is here to stay – and as it intertwines further with wellness, you may be using a colour wheel to determine your next dose of chromotherapy.

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