Week Two Colour In Design Award winner, Ellen Adams carefully considers the affect colour pairing can have on the playful emotions of humans. We put 6 questions to this innovative product designer to see what colour means to her practice!

It is clear that colour is an integral part to your design process, tell us – what does colour in design mean to you?

Colour is a very personal thing for most people, for me it’s a way of presenting this idea of play and dividing up shapes within my work. I want to allow the viewer to make their own creative choices whilst playing with my objects. My modular playset gives them the opportunity to explore material quality and pair colours in whichever way they like.

Choosing a colour palette not only enhances the design but can entirely shift a mood or perception. How do you go about curating this experience for your audiences?

For me, colour invites the user to engage playfully with my designs. The game encourages the viewer to experience the interplay of colours layered on top of one another once the objects are stacked, embracing the translucency of the material glass. By using the material to accentuate the colours presented it enhances the experience of moving objects into different patterns and combinations.

Do you have any predicted trends for 2020?

I predict a design trend that focuses on social change, encouraging others to think differently about their everyday actions. For me my work is inspired heavily by our relationship towards objects. My desire for 2020 is to encourage adults to embrace spontaneous play, as if they were a child noticing objects for the first time again.

Creative block is just the worst, what are your tips and tricks for smashing through this wall?

When I’m having a ‘creative block’ I like to take myself out of the task I’m doing and get my box of crazy materials out and just make, for the sake of making. This might be pairing materials together that I’ve never thought of before or giving myself a simple verb as an instruction and seeing what the outcome is. Often making is what spurs my creative energy and gives me the motivation to keep going!

A world without colour! Tell us how you would cope?

Colour adds personality to everything around us. In a world without colour, one thing would look exactly the same from the next. I’d probably start embracing pattern and texture as a way of differentiating between objects. But a world without colour isn’t something I’d like to imagine.

Hypothetically, if your studio was in a blaze and you could save 1 thing, what would it be? e.g. Our Marketing Manager has 3 paintbrushes that have travelled the world with her but are no longer any good to paint with.

That question is incredibly hard as I’m such a magpie when it comes to materials, but I’d probably say my sketchbook. I take it everywhere with me, it’s there throughout my creative journey.


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