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Color Education for Interior Designers: Is Josef Albers in the Curriculum?

Author: Magdalena Sanchez-Dahl
Date: 2011
Program: Master of Science in Interior Architecture, Chatham University

The purpose of this study is to determine 1) the importance of color education and 2) the extent of Josef Albers teachings, in interior design programs across the U.S. Albers focused his work in the instability and relativity of color (Dorosz & Watson, 2011). According to Albers, even within an unstable idea of color, effects can be predicted and controlled (Holtzschue, 2002). Are interior design students being trained to predict and control color effects through Albers teachings? Via an on-line survey, the study reached 19 color education professors in CIDA accredited interior design programs. Findings revealed that 1) Color class scored the lowest in terms of importance compared with other interior design courses. 2) The survey indicated that 68% of participants incorporated Albers teachings in their course, however only 45% used color-aid paper as working material. 3) Fifty three percent of color classes were combined with other important subjects, leaving limited time to establish a thorough understanding of color.