Did some mall walking tonight, and took notice of the recent renovations at the mall. What are they doing? Taking bleak architecture, and making it bleaker really. Replacing green railings with clear glass, and marble based pillars with columns of white. With white walls. And white floors.
Case in point, here’s dinner, and no I didn’t specifically choose these…
Looking around the mall I realize how devoid it is of color, of soul, of architecture. True no mall really has any worthwhile “architecture”, and I’m sure some designer that makes a lot more than I do would argue that the geometric designs on the ceilings, the funky windows, these giant light fixtures that I never even noticed, are indeed award-winning “architecture”, but I never notice most of it because they’re all painted white!
Is it because white is supposed to look modern? If so it is because “old” things have color and contrast, so white is modern and sleek? Or is it because the bland, sterility of the environment makes the products look better?
Again, here’s dinner:
The white everything does take a boring sandwich and make it really pop! This must be a good thing, I must like this out of the depressing void I’ve walked through to get here! /s
I’d even say it makes the stores look better, but even then a majority, if they use color at all, use such muted shades I wonder why they bother.
There are some exceptions though, notice how this place stands out:
and yet it also almost drives home just how sterile and bland everything else looks.
“But Jeff…you’re a friggin hypocrite! Look at your web site, its no different. Boring fonts, bland design, and no color!” Yes, because it’s literally the stock WordPress template (for now). Thankfully it had a dark mode to bring contrast, and this time around I try to add more pics to give it some substance, but I digress, it’s “easy”, and perhaps patching white paint is easier than matching color in a public place.
Maybe it’s just me. Maybe its my ADD screaming for stimulation, and maybe I should invest in a paint company when all the depressed millennials realize they’ve been living in a black and white world in an HDTV era. Could a color revolution be coming?
It’s not just shopping malls, modern design everywhere call for white and little to contrast. Modern UIs are blank white screens that are a guess game for input. Oh that question mark…yeah thats a 20 character search box, but it’s not a box because theres no more box, that was soo 1990. Microsoft Office? Your choice of white, gray, or grayer. Literally. Number of colors modern monitors can reproduce: 16.7 million, or was that an old number?
Ironically, all the optical stores I walked by will gladly sell you some blue filtering glasses..color must be really bad!
If you’re a designer, I get it that trends are trends, but please don’t forgo soul and functionality for form. Don’t be afraid to use some color, some contrast, and keep the box in “search box” lol.