As interior designers, you know that we talk about colors — a lot! Yet, color and its influence is a broader experience that is often a vessel for therapy, outreach and even triumph. "It’s a can of paint but so much bigger than that!” That's Laura Guido-Clark, the Founder/President of Project Color Corps and Principal at Laura Guido - Clark Design. Consider her your guru of color activism.
As a longtime education advocate who's equally passionate about both color and assisting in the community, LOCZIdesign founder Paige Loczi is teaming up with Laura to make the world a little brighter, one school at a time.
Laura is an expert designer of color, materials, and finishes who has worked with several dozen of companies including Samsung, Kodak, Apple, HBF Textiles and FLOR. Nonetheless, her take on consulting with clients is a sincere, yet powerful approach. "Within approximately 90 seconds of viewing any person, place, environment, or object, you form an opinion. And 60% - 82% percent of that opinion is based on color alone. It’s pretty powerful," Laura adds. "We work with clients and use colors respectfully to shift the human experience while supporting the view point of the designer and the object itself."
Project Color Corps
Which brings me to our current passion here at LOCZIdesign, Project Color Corps. This non-profit officially kicked off September of 2011 in Berkeley California as a tool of community outreach. The color connection with outreach has turned out to be a perfect blend. "I’m just kind of madly in love with color." Laura adds. "When I go back to even when I as a little girl (and I was an emotional kid) and sometimes I didn’t have the right words to say — I always wished I could use color as a way to describe how I felt. Color is a change agent and a language. And it is actually a teacher too. The environment we create teaches us just like teachers, just like peers — and self-respect is a large part of that. Taking care of something beautiful and something that is colorful makes you embody self respect."
Project 1: Oakland, CA
E.C. Reems Academy of Technology and Arts (above) has been servicing students in the city of Oakland for 11 years. Project Color Corps is currently working closely with the incredibly dynamic principal, Lisa Blair, to transform and paint the exterior of the facility with a color palette and mural that will reflect the school, its students and community. "These kids inspire me." Laura tells us, "They are positive, ambitious, kind, and respectful even though they come from one of the most 'at-risk' communities. They start everyday with very positive intentions that they recite aloud — you know that the faculty, along with Lisa are trying to really make a profound difference."
Project Color Corps is hoping the community will come out to volunteer and raise 50,000 dollars by May of 2012. "The school needs to be painted professionally of course," Laura says, "but it will be a combination of rolling up your sleeves, in addition to professional people working together to make this something worth pride and investment." They hope to paint during the summer and have the project completed respectably in the fall.
Spreading Random Acts of Color
In the short time they've been around, Project Color Corps has sprouted within various communities nationwide with their Spread Red campaign. Laura defined it as a remedy for monotony and lack. "A Random Act of Color is optical optimism; a community act of color stirring emotions of wonder, reflection and joy. This past December in cities across the country, Project Color Corps invited participants to gather and organize the donation of warm items such as gloves, hats, scarves and coats in shades of red to create an enormous heART installation."
How You Can Help
The campaign doesn't end here. You can bet that LOCZIdesign will be helping in numbers — so we're not ashamed to ask you for your help! You can promote, paint, advocate and donate to Project Color Corps by clicking here. Because at the end of the day, design and color is about shaping an environment we can all be proud of. "Everybody has a little personal story about color and what it means for them." Laura tells us. "My love for it is so deep that it’s really about using it in a most profound way — that’s the main goal — whether it’s a product or a school. I want to work the community and the kids to help them understand what they are and help them speak this language that I love so much!"