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AIC 2010 Color and Food, Mar del Plata, Argentina, 12-15 October 2010

Urban Image and Color in the Food Industry Architecture Darío SUÁREZ, María Mercedes ÁVILA, Vladimir DOMIJAN DEYMIÉ Institute of Color - Faculty of Architecture, Town Planning and Design National University of Córdoba - Argentina

In the last decades, cities have experienced changes in their urban image due to local and global events.

Buenos Aires

New York


The contemporary urban life proposes new meanings, behaviors and new uses of spaces. However, the urban experience still keeps its essence since it is basically a combination of physical and mental events, of material and imaginary ones.

The components of the urban language cause different answers in the users as regards how they use the urban environments since they significantly qualify the expression and communication of facades in commercial architecture and especially in the food industry architecture.

In many cases, the strength of this message is based on the optical contrasts, the chromatic synesthesias, the CesĂ­as and other signs of chromatic language.

THE URBAN IMAGE The faster and faster technological innovations in the age of information bring about transformations in the urban fabric.

In this context, the city of C贸rdoba shows changes in its appearance and urban culture.

At a smaller or larger scale, the urban fabric presents features in urban spaces which respond to a new logic of producing the city: the logic of the global that interacts with the local.

Paseo del Buen Pastor – Córdoba

Parque Explora - Medellí Medellín

Paseo del Buen Pastor – Córdoba

Homogenous images configure the new spaces of the city regardless of their location. In this context, the image of the city of Córdoba reflects changes in its spaces in different sectors which show alterations in the urban fabric and in the way to live and experience the city.

The present urban transformations represent new conditions, both material and contextual ones. The urban culture is characterized by new ways of communication and consumption. In the exchange between man with his environment, perceptions and sensations are generated, enjoyment and meanings come up as well as answers provoked by associations, analogies and values.

In this experienced and interpreted environment, man builds a new reality, an existential image, an image-landscape considering his knowledge of the environment related to the color of the components of the city language.

It is important to notice the significance of the direct experience of man with his environment in the process of building an image. Thus, the urban experience becomes essential since it is basically the combination of physical and mental events, of material and imaginary ones.

THE IMAGE OF THE FOOD INDUSTRY ARCHITECTURE The urban public space is a living and meaningful environment where the inhabitant has a dialectic exchange with the surroundings. In this multidimensional experience, the appearance of urban facades or building enclosures, which work as elements of communication and developers of representations, become a special non-verbal language of the city.

Commercial architecture at various levels and specially the food industry architecture propose messages that allow various uses and behaviors according to present needs.

It is recognized that the commercial activity is no longer isolated but mixed or associated to activities that involve different fields such as culture, art, leisure and free time among others.

This diversity refers to meanings that go beyond the strictly related to the food industry. In many cases they become real consumption facts in response to a constant search for novelty, an eagerness for food culture and a public that covers every taste and multiple ages. Therefore we could speak of a new culture accessible by means of a varied offer.

As an answer to these social, economic and cultural demands, the urban architectural language includes new materials,

unique shapes and different environmen ts which offer more freedom of choice to the users.

The different proposals act as a catalyst for the greater and greater expectations of users, making use in many cases of resources that temporally modify the image where color and light are the protagonists of true urban sceneries.

THE LANGUAGE OF COLOR OF THE FOOD INDUSTRY ARCHITECTURE If we consider that every architectural phenomenon leaves an imprint as a witness and reflection of certain time, place and society, the role of color can be researched in this kind of architecture that at present struggles between local identity and the typical innovation of new determining factors. The approach to study this phenomenon is a complex task; however, it is possible to research the contact points derived from the global as well as the special features that come from local or regional contexts. The social importance that food industry has gained can be seen in the different architectural proposals.

The urban environments include expressions that respond to the standards of an offer of new and varied services. Among the most significant characteristics we find:

•The mixture in the offer, food associated to the cultural, leisure, free time, tradition and tourism among others.

The associated image linked to a specific behavior, thematic spaces, multimedia spaces, fast foods, deliveries, the international, the traditional or the ethnic.

•The use of color and lighting as a valuable resource to create a clear identity.

•The scenery as an aesthetic resource in response to the cultural imaginary of users.

In this context, the components of the urban architectural language cause different answers in the urban environments since they significantly qualify the expression and communication of commercial facades in the food industry architecture.

This iconic image which is expressed by means of colors, lights, textures, materials and shapes increases the sense of an active presence in front of the spectator.

In many cases, the strength of these messages is based on the optical contrasts, the chromatic synesthesias, the Cesias and other signs of chromatic language which stimulate the sensorial experience of the city conditioned by new demands and meanings which transform the urban image in a global and local way as well.


Darío Suárez, María Mercedes Avila, Vladimir Domijan (Argentina): Urban image and color in the food industry architecture

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