Konferenz „Farbe und Gesundheit“ – Mensch – Natur – Licht – Material – Raum

Vom 25. bis 26. August 2022 fand an der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin die internationale Konferenz des Deutschen Farbenzentrums zum Thema „Farbe und Gesundheit“ statt. Im Zentrum stand die Suche nach Strategien zur nachhaltigen Gestaltung einer gesunden und lebenswerten Umwelt.


The worst place to be when you suffer from a mental illness is a psychiatric ward. – Dr. Loren R. Mosher (1933-2004), Founder – Soteria San Francisco Finding a balance between the needs of patients on psychiatric wards and those of the institutions hosting them is a great challenge for architects. These wards are in many cases contested spaces, as they are collectively inhabited by patients as well as by medical and support staff, who often spend years of their working lives in them. Family and friends visit to offer to their loved ones solace, giving them a strong claim as “spatial-stakeholders“ in addition. However, critical decisions about how these places are designed and maintained often prioritise efficiency and initial costs, discounting the daily experience inside for all parties in the long term. This may often result in providing ”lowest common denominator“ environments, which themselves can be detrimental for everyone. While there are many factors involved in de-institutionalising such spaces, colour – particularly in harmony with diverse light sources – can provide succour. A successful colour design can support orientation within wards and generate more home-like entrance narratives, welcoming spatial diversity and creating opportunities for varied stimulation. Integrated colour designs can in this way directly contribute to therapeutic strategies, supporting a diverse milieu more reflective of the individual journey of each patient. And it can often do this in a cost-effective manner. Starting with the primary case study of the Soteria Berlin, (completed in 2013), Jason Danziger will share design strategies deployed there and trace how these have evolved and shifted through other projects in the time since. Primary methodological mechanisms inspired by the Werkstatt für Wandmalerei at the Bauhaus and contemporary design tools being used in our studio today such as the NCS Color Atlas will be discussed and illustrated by further case study examples.