1991-07-01

Colours: From Theory to Actual Selection - An Example of Application to Columbus Attached Laboratory Interior Architectural Design 911532

One of the issues that extended spaceflight raises is the provision to the crew of a living environment not only safe but also comfortable and pleasant, two features which also enhance crew productivity.
Interior design and decor are understood to gain more relevance as mission duration increases. This means that colour theory application to the actual space system configuration becomes a fundamental step.
Obviously, two other relevant variables are the impact of the overall environment (e.g., illumination, structural design, other decorative techniques adopted) and the personal taste, mediated by his own experience, of the designer.
The presented work started from a brief review of the general principles pertaining to colour theory, analyzing commonly accepted systems used to categorize and individualize colours with an unambiguous procedure, to exploit the theory as an exact, almost mathematical, tool.
Then, the work deeply analyzed Columbus Attached Laboratory configuration, scanning it on a topological basis, that is, considering different features and functions of each element.
All the elements were interrelated stating the existence of a relationship between each other from the colour viewpoint. When the relationship was found to exist, further analysis of reciprocal colour characteristics (e.g., hue, chroma) was performed.
The result was applied to propose a palette of colours for interior surfaces, mediating this process through the adoption of the general groundrules for selection of colours in space systems coming from previous studies.
On this basis, the authors selected a list of seven colours and applied them to the Columbus APM habitability mock-up. The assessment of their validity, through objective and subjective evaluations on the mock-up, was the next step and the final result presented in this work is the approach utilized for these tests.

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