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Mixing and matching the luminous color palette

A perception-informed Light Art + Design technology toolbox

The use of luminous colors is increasing in design and art due to new technologies in color-tunable lighting. Our project addresses the lack of guidance when working with additive mixing of luminous colors, including their interaction with surface treatments. When using paint colors (subtractive color mixing), designers and artists can draw from theories developed by both color scientists and artists/ designers. However, the same is not yet true when working with additive mixing of colored light, which LED technology only recently made possible. No system for luminous color based on the visual perception is available. The project’s objectives are to:

  • start developing educational tools and awareness to inform the creative, skillful, and responsible use of colored light in the built environment
  • contribute to bridging the gap between perceptual experiences and models used to inform the engineering of color and light tools through art and design experimentation
  • kick-off a research and education collaboration between Konstfack’s Perceptionsstudion and KTH’s Lighting Design Lab

Throughout this project we aim to prepare:

  • educational and pilot study events with students and professionals in experimental light and color labs developing and testing a toolbox
  • a proposal foundation for a larger-scale grant application with additional local and global project partners 
  • publication of pilot findings grounded in prior dissertation work 


Ute Besenecker, KTH, .
Johanna Enger, Konstfack