Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Color of Habitation

Color Theory is the study of the properties of color and the development of a taxonomic system of color. Color theory develops clarifying concepts such as hue, value, tone, and intensity. It also establishes clear relationships among types of colors, which then offer predefined techniques by which colors can be modified and controlled. Color theory is pure science, yet it acts as an important foundation for the work of virtually every serious painter. Doesn't this inevitably destroy the mystery and wonder of the act of painting, which is vital to painting as a creative pursuit? No. It destroys the mystery and wonder not of painting, but of paint. It identifies and clarifies the nature of paint as a substance (along with any other mixable, colored substance), which reveals non-obvious things about its nature, which are vital for painters to know in order to have full control of their medium. Knowing color theory does not turn painting into a formulaic process, it opens up new creative territory, which painters would otherwise struggle to see.

Habitation Theory is the study of the properties of human action and the development of a taxonomic system of human action. Habitation theory develops clarifying concepts such as movement, access, boundary, and threshold. It also establishes clear relationships among types of human activities, which then offer predefined techniques by which human activities can be modified and controlled. Habitation theory is pure science, yet it acts as an important foundation for the work of virtually every serious designer. Doesn't this inevitably destroy the mystery and wonder of the act of designing, which is vital to architecture as a creative pursuit? No. It destroys the mystery and wonder not of designing, but of human activity. It identifies and clarifies the nature of human activity as a substance, which reveals non-obvious things about its nature, which are vital for designers to know in order to have full control of their medium. Knowing habitation theory does not turn designing into a formulaic process, it opens up new ways of life for inhabitants, which designers would otherwise struggle to see.

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