Arch. Myriam B. Mahiques Curriculum Vitae

Friday, September 16, 2011

The color and the city

Ancient Beijing. Ref. below
Ancient Beijing. Ref. below

Black and white thus evoke positive and negative affective associations and meanings. These are more polarized in the West, where black has extremely negative meaning than, for example, in Japan, where black and white tend to harmonize more and are seen more in terms of a complementary balance of opposites, although even in Japan white is still preferred. White is rated positively by Hong Kong Chinese, Asian Indians, Danes, English, Germans and white Americans, whereas black is uniformly negative. These two colors seem to involve universal meanings (...) modified by culture (...)
It is quite clear, though, that colors generally do have a meaning both in themselves, by contrast with noncolors, and in terms of increasing the redundancy of other cues. For example in ancient Peking most of the city was low and grey, the sacred and hierarchically important section was centrally located, larger in scale, more elaborate and higher, and the use of colors were restricted to that section.

San Salvador de Bahía de Todos los Santos, Brasil. From
Corner in La Boca, Buenos Aires. Personal archive. Picture by Myriam B. Mahiques

Amos Rapoport. The Meanings of the Built Environment. A Nonverbal Communication Approach. P.113. California, 1982
Pictures of ancient Beijing from


  1. Visiting this place makes your vacation full of excitement and memorable

  2. Hello Tourism, I didn´t select you as a spam because you are promoting trips to my country, that was it.



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