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Age Range: 11-14
Duration: 0-29 mins
  • D&T
  • Physics

Aesthetics and design: colour and feelings

Exploring the psychological effects of colour and its importance in design

In this activity students will be introduced to the thought processes that designers must go through when designing the colour of the lighting used on dance floors.

Exploring the psychological effects of colour will give students a new understanding of aesthetics and how different hues can influence emotions and behaviours. The lesson will introduce learners to the concept of colour theory and its application in various areas of life, from product design to architecture.

This is one of a set of resources developed to aid the teaching of the secondary national curriculum, particularly KS3, supporting the teaching in design & technology (D&T).

Activity: Exploring the psychological effects of colour and its importance in design

Students will start by watching our Dance Power film, which shows how engineers have designed a dancefloor that converts the energy created by dancers into power for the nightclub's lighting system.

Students will then use the Colour and Feelings presentation to explore their moods and feelings in relation to each colour. Discussion points include their initial reactions to each colour, what it reminds them of, and their thoughts upon seeing it.

Download our activity overview for a detailed lesson plan for teaching students about the importance of colour in design.

The engineering context

The engineers behind the Watt Nightclub in Rotterdam turn the energy created by clubbers on the dancefloor into power for the lighting.  There’s even a giant battery to monitor the energy and encourage the crowd to dance even more. Their work demonstrates that doing your bit for the environment doesn’t have to be boring!

Suggested learning outcomes

This activity will teach students the importance of colour in design, allowing them to apply colour theory to the creation of products. They’ll also be able to justify their design decisions in developing a product colour range.

Download our activity sheet and other teaching resources

The activity sheet includes teachers’ notes, useful web links, and links (where appropriate) to the national curriculum in each of the four devolved nations; England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

All activity sheets and supporting resources are free to download (include videos!), and all the documents are fully editable, so you can tailor them to your students’ and your schools’ needs.

Download our classroom lesson plan and presentation below.

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