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10 / 09 / 2019

YELLOW is the sun, YELLOW is autumn but also summer, YELLOW is Vincent van Gogh, YELLOW is Bob the sponge, YELLOW is Boby Trolley by Joe Colombo designed in the 70΄s - one of the most functional storage trolleys.

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On July 17th, 1968, in London premiered the Beatles' long-running Psychedelic cartoon, Yellow Submarine. The recording of "Yellow Submarine" at Abbey Road studios was noteworthy for the party during that time: the Beatles along with their friends, their spouses, and even Rolling Stone Brian Jones added sound effects, vocals and odd sounds playing a big bass.
But what happened to this YELLOW submarine? Was it just a childish joyful song? Or was it simply a glowing underwater vehicle? Color for music, for motion picture, for cinema?


And if by the color of egg yolk, yellow goes into design and into the world of styling and fashion, what would Quentin Jerome Tarantino tell us about the spectrum of his own film universe and his references to revenge stories and to martial arts movies, such as in "Kill Bill" (Vol. 1, 2003 and Vol. 2, in 2004) starring Uma Thurman wearing the female version of Bruce Lee's yellow-and-black sports uniform? In the '70s legendary actor/martial artist Bruce Lee chose the yellow sports uniform to represent his personal taste of "style without style" because he believed that freedom comes from being able to cope with whatever situation you are in.

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Although yellow may not be your favorite color, it undeniably represents vital energy in many areas. It also represents shining, a strong body (or unit) and much other fun, tasty and attractive things in the YELLOW world. There is an important reason that the iconic symbol of the cheerful smiley face is yellow![1]
And, of course, yellow is also the color that signifies the areas where construction work is done, the color that shows the dedication to detail, the color that we come across yellow PVC tubes for wall boxing. It is the color associated with sunshine, hope, and happiness.

In the field of architecture, Le Corbusier[2] originally designed the premises of a reasonably structured system for color design in l 'Esprit nouveau magazine in 1921. Le Corbusier's texts create links between specific pigments and colors based on them and their effects on the architectural space and its inhabitants. The spatial effects of color were called physiological effects, while the emotional and associative effects were called psychological effects. The architect should have known that these colors could dramatically influence the design of a space.
For example, "Blue" creates space.
"Red" defines the existence of a wall in an open plan floor.
Psychologically, "Yellow" is often characterized as the color that makes people happy or refreshed.
Yellow, when used wisely, can add a burst of joy to anything, and has a strong presence wherever it is used.

Did you know that yellow corresponds to the left side of the brain, which is the logic side?

The use of yellow in architecture stimulates positive emotions, that is why it is often used in places for children and other social and communal spaces that are geared towards supporting a positive and vibrant mood.

appartement spectral betillon 1

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Appartement Spectral by Architects BETILLON  DORVAL‐BORY, Paris, France

The ABC of Architects[3] is an alphabetical list of top architects and their most important projects. Among the exhibits, which are grounded in shape and direction during the short, inventive video, 1'and 38”, we can see London City Hall, by Norman Foster, Guggenheim Bilbao, by Frank Gehry, Beijing National Stadium, Herzog and De Meuron, Pompidou Parisian, Renzo Piano, and Richard Rogers. If you watch the video, again and again, you will see that there is a sequence of images with mainly yellow shapes and colors used either as a canvas or as a part of the stylized images of these buildings.


The role of color in an architectural composition is indisputable and timeless. It is responsible for a set of conscious and subconscious stimuli and emotions that overwhelm the observer or the user who is experiencing the space. Color is a conscious choice of equal importance to architectural design and the choice of materials and coatings of a building, such as metal, wood or glass. The color can project a specific volume, highlight a construction detail or set a route in an outdoor urban area.
The choice of color is related to the climate zone in which a project is located and the lighting conditions in which it is exposed. Color can be related to psychology or serve symbolism, even mysticism. Colors have different meanings depending on the historical or cultural period, depending on the cultural heritage of each people. Among many other features, color can be used to identify a designer and an architect’s personal mark. The idea of buildings that “talk” helps us to put at the center of our architectural endeavors the values we want to live by - not just how we want things to look. [4] 

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Inter-Generation Centre by Dominique Coulon & Associés, Venarey-les-Laumes, France

MEF 01 copyright Studio cento29 full

MEF 38 Copyright Andre
Enzo Ferrari Museum by Future systems architects, Modena, Italy

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Falcon Headquarters by RojkindArquitetos, San Angel, Mexico

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Tellus Nursery School by Tham & Videgård Arkitekter, Stockholm, Sweden

For Elephant Design, yellow is the color in which, a project while subtly suggesting how it is constructed, the actual work does not conceal, but on the contrary, it reveals the mechanisms that give birth to it, the creators’ obsessions, the seriousness of a child while discovering his new toy, our wants, our sincerity, our honesty, our architectural and artistic intent, our pleasant working environment, our happy smileys of everyday life.
The role of the Architect is - initially in a psychoanalytical way - to make a cross-section of the man's mentality towards him and to understand his origins and desires. When it comes to drawing, it's not just about two dimensions, in length and width. The design has many dimensions: length, width, height, light ... and the light is YELLOW.

Elephant Yellow Transparent 01


September 2019,
Editing: Eleni Sfantou, Panos Alexiou


[1] Tata Alkhazashvili (2015), “Architectural color-Yellow”, idaaf magazine (online), Feb 03, Available from:
[2] Valentina Leva, Architect (2016), “Color me yellow! 8 Constructive Uses of Yellow in Architecture”, archilovers (online platform), May 10, Available from:
[3] Dimitris Karathanos (2013), “The architecture of happiness”, Athens voice magazine (online), Jan 13, Available from: arxitektonikitiseytixias

General sources:
[4] Botton Alain. De (2013), “The architecture of happiness”, Patakis Publications, May, Translation: Antonis Kalokiris


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