Colour Space by John Short
and Praline

| 4 comments

Beijing Design Week: British photographer John Short and design studio Praline created these "audio explosions" by scattering colour pigments using different sound frequencies (+ movie).

Colour Space by John Short and Praline

Above: Burnt Sienna - sound frequency 440Hz

Each set of pigments was laid on a white surface above a speaker, through which different sounds were emitted to disperse the colours.

Colour Space by John Short and Praline

Above: Cobalt Yellow Lake - sound frequency 493.88Hz 

"We were exploring the relationship between colour and sound," David Tanguy from Praline told Dezeen at the exhibition.

Colour Space by John Short and Praline

Above: Old Holland Golden Green - sound frequency 523.25Hz

Seven colour hues were used for the seven musical notes, and each sound moved the particles into different patterns.

Colour Space by John Short and Praline

Above: Cobalt Green - sound frequency 587.33Hz

Short photographed the patterns in motion, which were then blown up and printed onto 14 floor-to-ceiling fabric banners that were conceived as "an homage to traditional Chinese hangings".

Colour Space by John Short and Praline

Above: Old Delft Blue - sound frequency 659.26Hz

They were exhibited during Beijing Design Week at The Factory, an old bicycle factory in the Dashilar neighbourhood of the city that also hosted an installation of illuminated ceramic yoghurt pots.

Colour Space by John Short and Praline

Above: Ultramarine Red-Pink - sound frequency 698.46Hz

We've featured a couple of other stories from Beijing Design Week, including an exhibition about the problems faced by international architects working in China and maps that chart the disappearance of Beijing's ancient hutongs.

Colour Space by John Short and Praline

Above: Alizarin Crimson Lake Extra - 783.99Hz

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Colour Space by John Short and Praline

The text below is from John Short and Praline:


Colour Space, an installation by design studio Praline and photographer John Short explores the relationship between sound, colour and form.

Colour Space by John Short and Praline

The exhibition takes an existing idea, of sound being represented by colour, one step further and shows how various sound frequencies create their own individual patterns.

Colour Space by John Short and Praline

Passing seven frequencies that correspond to the seven musical notes through coloured pigment created unique ‘audio explosions’.

  • Mark W

    I think it’s appropriate to make use of the internet and its vocabulary and say: meh. Youtube has been full of these kind of movies/ experiments for years now, by amateurs that is. Seeing it presented in this ‘high design’ type of way ticks me off a bit.

    • Matt

      I agree, something grinded me about this aswell – "relationship between colour and sound" – isn't this more an experiment into what happens when you place dirt on a speaker? The colour is fairly arbitrarily applied – be honest and just say "we wanted to make something that looked pretty".

  • unknown

    Too much time and money on their hands. Pointless waste of materials.

  • alex

    Oh my, how 6 years ago this is. Just hook this up to an arduino board and give the mic to some kids, then we’ll start to talk about it.