Colour for mental health

Colour is potent and powerful and has the ability to effect change in so many ways.

At the London Design Biennale @somersethouse this is at the heart of several of the installations, including this mesmerising one by Dundee that I briefly mentioned the other day.

Schpeel (by designers Malath Abbas and Tom deMajo of the Biome Collective) is an immersive virtual environment that ‘allows young people in distress to communicate their feelings to professionals without having to use words.’

Dundee has the fourth highest unemployment rate in the UK, a factor known to be linked to anxiety and depression.

In a bid to tackle this in youngsters, the Dundee team decided see how gaming and virtual technology could be used as an icebreaker to get youngsters talking. Interactive buttons enable users to create an ‘emotional avatar’, consisting of abstract colours and patterns (like in this photographic quartet), with which they can interact with other people.

‘It allows them to describe the nuances of how they’re feeling without words and to share that emotion visually with others,’ says the design team. Clever them, and clever colour.

Martha, The Colour File x

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