Real Color and Culture

Real Color and Culture

15 April 2024 Wolfgang Held 551 views

A Natural Science Section conference day in English and French on April 24th, as part of a three-day conference on color and culture.


Colors evoke emotions, memories, and associations that are deeply rooted in our cultural contexts. The meanings of colors vary according to society and time and reflect language, symbolism, aesthetics, and power relations. In Western cultures, the color white is often associated with purity, innocence, and peace—in China and Japan, it is traditionally associated with death and mourning. In medieval Europe, blue was associated with humility—in Renaissance art, however, it was associated with divine power. These examples show that the meanings of colors are not fixed or universal but are shaped by cultural and historical contexts.

To understand the complex and dynamic relationships between colors and cultures, an interdisciplinary approach is required, drawing on different fields of knowledge such as anthropology, psychology, linguistics, art history, design, and technology. This conference provides a platform for scholars and researchers from different disciplines to explore the cultural dimensions of color and its impact on various aspects of human life, including art, literature, design, architecture, science, and technology.

How do cultural norms and values shape the way we perceive and use colors? How do colors convey social, political, and religious meanings in different cultures? How do technological innovations and environmental concerns influence the production and consumption of colors? How do colors influence our moods, behavior, and well-being? How do artists, writers, designers, and architects use color to express aesthetic, symbolic, or functional ideas? How do scientists and engineers study and manipulate colors in different fields of research?

With these and other questions, the conference aims to promote a deeper understanding of the complex interplay between colors and cultures and to gain new insights into how colors shape our understanding of the world around us. We welcome contributions from researchers from all over the world who are interested in exploring the fascinating and multi-layered world of colors and cultures.

This article was originally published in the (online exclusive) English Edition of the Goetheanum Weekly.


More Real Colors and Cultures Conference 2024

Translation Charlies Cross

Image source Event flyer