Reading Summary #5

                The article Color Walking by Phia Bennin and Brendan McMullan discusses color walking, an experiment that was discovered while the two were creating their podcast show “Colors”. Color Walking is an experiment that allows one to attentively notice colors and watch as their surroundings sharpen as they follow a certain color from object to object while walking, talking notice of soft hues and violent strains as they go along.                   The experiment was designed by William Burroughs to inspire his students to think more creatively and help people to unwind and let colors take them on an adventure by walking and take notice of all the different colors around them. The idea is that when one picks a specific color to focus on that they begin to notice more about their surroundings, especially parts of an object or features of a person they have never noticed before. From there, the experiment gives one the flexibility to switch from color to color and to follow things like the lavender on a women’s handbag, a yellow cab going into a side street, or even the color of an ice cream cone that could lead a person to walk into a park. The goal of Burrough’s experiment was for people to see the extent that color is as a physical thigs in the physical world, and to what extent that colors create images in one’s mind.                   Bennin and McMullan tested out Burrough’s experiment by walking at WNYC in lower Manhattan. As soon as they were out the door they picked a color and set out on their walk....

Reading Summary Five (Color Walking)

In this short article titled Color Walking, the authors Phia Bennin and Brendan McMullan discuss an experiment created by William Burroughs in which he asked his students to select and focus on a color, and then to go outside for a walk. This resulted in a greater appreciation and noticeability for the selected color. McMullan and Bennin decide to conduct a similar experiment only this time they allow themselves the option of switching to different colors if they so wish. This second experiment resulted in the authors being lead down certain areas or to different colors, which in turn lead them somewhere else.  By the end of the day, all of the colors of the world became emphasized. This is an interesting article. Personally, I don’t pay too much attention to color—or perhaps it’s more accurate for me to say that I do not normally make a habit of consciously paying attention to color. Unbeknownst to me, I may be subconsciously lead down certain roads or to certain areas in the same way Burroughs’ students, Bennin, and McMullan were lead to certain areas when they experimented on consciously focusing on color. The findings of these experiments make me wonder just how much influence color in the built environment has over where we travel. For instance, a person whose favorite color is blue may be more inclined to travel down roads or to destinations that have blue in them; and a person who hates the color red may be discouraged from traveling to areas where red is predominately featured. Another interesting thought is how this impacts the color-blind. A designer...
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