WHERE: Bury St Edmunds, UK
WHEN: April 2003
CLIENT: Bury St Edmunds Art Gallery

Walltherapy began in April 2003 and was a collaboration between Rachel Wingfield and Fabiene Perrella aiming to bring together areas of design with neuroscience and colour science. The project was first presented at Designersblock 2003 in London and later at Bury St Edmunds Art Gallery in an exhibition called NaturalHabitat. In the exhibition people are invited to paint the paint-by-numbers-wallpaper after being prescribed a colour from undergoing a short comparative test.

This is essentially a research project aimed at developing a new design methodology for bespoke, end-user created designs that can have a positive effect on their environment.

Walltherapy is an empirical exploration of the neurological, cognitive and contextual bases underpinning the impact of visual stimuli such as colour and light and how people’s mood can be expressed in design through a creative, scientifically-led design process.

Walltherapy enables everyone to create their own highly individual personal environment from their psychophysically determined colour preferences to suit and possibly enhance people’s sense of well-being. It is well established in scientific literature that ambient colour, light and texture can affect mood and behaviour this is why a conventional decorative surface, such as wallpaper has been chosen as the interface for this experiment.

We anticipate that in the finished wallpaper product everyone will have been prescribed a personal colour, pattern and texture and then walltherapy will allow them to do one of two things: Either, allow them to paint the wallpaper themselves with all the therapeutic benefits painting affords or print out a wallpaper that has been specifically designed by and is essentially ‘prescribed’ for that person, couple or family who will live with it.

We created a unique ‘group’ version of walltherapy especially for Designersblock at London Design Festival September 2003, where the wallpaper is collectively created by the visitors to the exhibition. We invited everyone to participate in this experiment in order to observe the resulting ambience and ‘mood’ of the show and the people who contributed.

For this event we chose the landscape ourselves and invited everyone to find their ‘neurological’ colour preferences using our short psychophysical test, and then apply their chosen colours to the overall group walltherapy wallpaper.

LINKS: Flour Designers Block