STUDY GROUPS on art and design (ad)                 

The AIC Study Group on Arts and Design-SGAD aims to bring together a plethora of areas that concern theory and practice in the domains of the ‘Arts and Design’.

The objectives of this study group include: create a network where artists and designers can communicate and disseminate their work, provide incentive for research in theory and practice of the disciplines englobed in the SG Arts and Design and encourage researchers of these domains to participate at AIC conferences.

Prof. Dr. Maria João Durão | Chair

Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade de Lisboa

School of Architecture, The University of Lisbon

SGAD has over 50 members from 24 countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Chile, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Iran, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Portugal, Peru, Singapore, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK and the USA.

Annual Reviews download recent activities of this study group

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Disciplines under the umbrella of the ARTS AND DESIGN Study Group range painting; sculpture; drawing; illustration; illuminated manuscripts, printing; photography, cinema, audiovisuals, and virtual reality; jewelry design, fashion design, textile design; communication and graphic design; product and industrial design; furniture design, automotive and aeronautic design, among other related expressions.

We are in an age of the hybrid, the crossover, a time when the combined force of new media, postmodern thought, and history has made it possible for artists to assemble various art techniques, therefore boarders are not always clear-cut in the contemporary Arts and Design practices. For example, in the domain of painting, the stretching of definitions can be the actual substance of work-the same applies to sculpture and other traditional art domains. However, art expressions from previous eras are also contemplated and encouraged.


FIRST ARTS AND DESIGN VIRTUAL EXHIBITION of the Study Group on Arts and Design .

Curated by Maria João Durão.


 "A Cor em Acção" (Colour in Action) by Verónica Conte

This Report begins with two highlights: a book in Colour and Design and a painting. Designer and Architect Verónica Conte published the book "A Cor em Acção" (Colour in Action) a focus on conceptual and methodological interactions implemented in the urban-rural contexts of Montemor and Ruínha. Participatory actions of design and painting were used by the author as source for research within her Post-doctoral programme in Design, carried out at The Lisbon University School of Architecture.  Artist and architect Sarah Francis Dias used oil paints on canvas to depict the passage of time with brushstrokes of colour reminiscent of techniques used in the golden periods of oil painting.


‘Time’ by Sarah Frances Dias, oil on canvas, 30cm x 40cm

At AIC 2019 organized by Grupo Argentino del Color (GAC), in Buenos Aires, a set of papers were categorized under ‘Arts and Design’ with a focus on the central theme: ‘Colour and Landscape’.   

Robert Hirschler explained the optical phenomena underlying pointillist/divisionist techniques and colour impressions created by a selection of neo-impressionist paintings, in his ‘Colour theory and neo-impressionist landscapes’.R. Aslanoğlu & N. Olguntürk addressed the role of colour in ‘visual complexity visual interest’, andA. Tron related evident and underlying colours through colour constancy.

Paula Csillag & Ana L. Lupinacci presented the use of landscape in the work of Fred Jordan, the ‘Brazilian master of color’ and F. Silva & L. Silveira also dealt with ‘Color in Brazilian landscape painting in the beginning of the XXI century’. R. Aslanoğlu, et al chose wheat field colours of Vincent van Gogh to focus on seasonal transformations of colours, and M. Arrarte-Grau claimed ‘timelessness and temporality’ as features of landscape colours.

Left: Harald Sohlberg’s painting Street in Røros in winter, oil on canvas 60.5 x 90.5 cm, National Gallery, Oslo (1903).  Right: Røros by Google street view, 2010. 

Alex Booker & Kine Angelo showed how Norwegian painter Harald Sohlberg  captures the ‘essence of colour and atmosphere that are particular to the interaction of northern light and landscape’

Gabriela Nirino, et al. dealt with colour and landscape in textile design, and M. Mirian & F. Mahyar analysed how colours of clothing can influence the ‘colourscape of cities’ 

With Elisa Cordero-Jahr et al., aquarelle became a powerful tool for representing colours of landscape, and  with Simone Maffei Simacek, et al. children's illustration colours unveiled an emotional analysis. Villaa & M. Páezb proposed a model for sustainable use of cultural values in graphic design, and L. Períes, et al. focused on colour as a landscape component in townscape catalogues.

Z. Wang  used China's high speed railway map as a case study for the impact of user-centred information design principles on the public's use of transport map design; G. Lee, et al. related ‘Designers’ experience and use of colour information’, and A. Nasseraldin, et al. dealt with the specifics of colour in creating a successful logo.

L. Walker treated colour as a mimetic agent ‘between skin and landscape’; T. Villa & M. Páez devised a Design workshop for young people with down syndrome;  S. Ribeiro offered a ‘Bodygraphy’ through complementary colours found in landscape; and P. Ramirez viewed the Universe in six colors in an atlas of natural dyes. 

 ‘Cesia’-a term introduced by José Luis Caivano was adoped by V. Jofre in ‘Cesia in nature and in the representation of nature.  Luminous cesia: a special case’.

In the field of cinema, Pedro P. Souza dealt with colour in the representation of homosexuality in the films ‘ A single man, Blue is the warmest color, and Moonlight’ , and  L. Echagüe connected ‘Painting, landscape, cinema and color’.

Finally, Roy Osborne received the ‘Colour in Art & Design Award’, presenting a lecture on Renaissance Colour Symbolism.


The AIC Study Group on Arts and Design held its inaugural meeting at AIC2018 in Lisbon on 27th September 2018. Participants introduced themselves and their research interests in a room with a view to the gardens of the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian. 

Painter and keynote speaker Luísa Arruda (Portugal) presented her research on the historical hospitals of Cascais: Hospital de Sant’Ana in Parede and Hospital Ortopédico in Alcoitão;  Joana Saes (Portugal), who received the first runner-up prize of the AIC Student Award, explained how colour impacts therapies in TEACCH and Snoezelen rooms, as part of her Ph.D. in Design; Filipa Santos (Portugal) used the interiors of Gelre Hospital in Zutphen as case-study for conceptualizing a colour and light model, as did Zélia Simões (Portugal) with industrial environments in search for comfort and wellbeing .


Keynote speaker João Brehm (Portugal), painter and cinematographer, took us on a journey through a complex set of experiments with colours and pigments to create his paintings of imaginary universes; Verónica Conte (Portugal)  presented actions that include participatory paintings on residential façades; Ana Pais Oliveira (Portugal) addressed chromophobia in contemporary artistic practices; Renata Pompas (Italy) adopted the didactics of colour to speak about contemporary art; Elodie Chandernagor (Singapore) raised issues concerning space and different uses of colours in Western Visual Art; Susana Ribeiro (Portugal) related painting to sensory experience on primary blue; Sharon Avital (Israel) on the relations between colour, geometry, and consciousness; Mahshid Baniani (Iran) on colour in Ancient Persian rituals; and Sarah Frances Dias and Maria João Durão (Portugal) on the significance of colour in Islamic Art and Architecture.   

Colour and emotions ran across different areas: Wen-Yuan Lee and Ruei-Ju Hung (Taiwan)  showed how texture and gloss influence colour emotions and colour harmony; Simone Maffei-Simacek (Brazil) used a case-study to show primary colours as emotional signs for visual design;  Cristina Salvador (Portugal) explored emotion and sustainability in the context of children’s furniture.   

Pousi Swailem (Egypt) personalised colour palettes in home furnishings, and Barbara Matusiak  (Norway) addressed a colour rendering method of window glass. Eva-Lena Bäckström (Sweden) showed how to create unique colour choices for products; Luísa Martinez, et. al. (Portugal) with colour contrast in packaging and consumer product perception.

Designer  Alessandra Cirafici (Italy) analysed colour and augmented reality in museum fruition; Yukino Shimizu , Kanako Hirano, Nozomu Yoshizawa (Japan) presented a study on lighting control strategies by combining daylight with white LEDs in museums; Helena Soares (Portugal) considered the scenic space as mean of urban regeneration, using light, colour and (im)materialities, while Elif Ensari and Saadet Akbay (Turkey) explored the effects of façade colour on walking preferences.

Textile and fashion colours were approached from different perspectives: spotting the aesthetically dynamic properties of naturally dyed and finished textiles, by Isabel Rosa Müggler, Cornelia Gassler (Switzerland) or developing methodologies for designers engaging with digital colour inkjet printing in Textile Design by Becky Gooby (UK). A comparison of fashion colours between China and the UK was established by Jie Xua and Xueqing Zhangb (China); S. Lee and Y. Lee (R. Korea) proposed a colour fashion material pattern, and Ichiro Katayama et al. (Japan) focused on the tooth crown colours of people in fashion magazines.

Gregor Franken, Maruša Panger, Klementina Možina (Slovenia) showed the impact of colour combinations on LCD display legibility; Nuno Alão (Portugal), First Prize for Best Poster at AIC2018, explored  visual images and information units; Natacha LeDuff (Germany) presented an approach to colour mediation; Isabella Otto, Alice Plutino, Matteo Lanaro, Alessandro Rizzi (Italy) presented a study on chromatic variation of movies, and Milena Leite Paiva (Brazil), colours in the Brazilian miniseries Suburbia. 

Lisbon was also the subject of colour studies by Aléxia Brasil (Brazil) and Ana Guerreiro (Portugal) Lisbon: a colour experience from sketch to illustration;  Elisa Cordero – Jahr’s (Chile) “travel journal (in colours) of Lisbon city” and Annamaria di Cara (Australia)  based her research on sensory experience contours of the natural and built environment, by comparing Lisbon and Sydney.

Explore the work of some of our members

Pousi Swailem

Personalised Colour Palettes in Home Furnishing

This study aimed to investigate how home furnishing stores can provide a personalised colour palette to its consumers in the United Kingdom. A framework of research  read more 

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