Colours of a Neighbourhood: Methodological Questions and Challenges

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This paper addresses methodological questions that arise from large-scale architectural colour research. The paper will discuss some preliminary findings of my on-going PhD. The PhD project represents a practice-led study concerning the colour planning six residential areas built during the last twenty years in the greater Helsinki metropolitan area in Finland.

The paper will focus on one of these sites, Aurinkolahti, which is situated in the eastern part of Helsinki and was built between 2000–2016. In this pilot study, I tested two research methods, for enabling architects, artists and colour designers to conceptualise their experience of architectural colours, particularly in terms of the design process. The first method referred to as colour walk, is an ethnographic walking method. Colour walk allows the designer to provide words for non-verbal experience of colours in architecture and to create concepts for the artistic colour design process. The second method, visual ethnographic photography is both a method for documentation and an approach for conducting artistic research concerning the atmosphere of architecture focusing on colours. Designer-photographers act with their own perceptions and knowledge, documents and photographs the area in order to visualise their thoughts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAIC2016 Interim Meeting, Color in Urban Life
Subtitle of host publicationImages, Objects and Spaces
EditorsIngrid Calvo Ivanovic
PublisherInternational Colour Association (AIC)
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)978-956-14-1967-4
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA4 Conference publication
EventAIC Interim Meeting: Color in Urban Life: Images, Objects and Spaces - Santiago, Chile
Duration: 18 Oct 201622 Oct 2016


ConferenceAIC Interim Meeting
Internet address


  • colour planning
  • urban design
  • colour design
  • colour research
  • Architectural Photography
  • etnographic methods
  • colour walk


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