SEOUL, December 6, 2017 – Most elementary and secondary school students in Korea spend an average of 22 to 35 hours a week at school. However schools in the country usually have a standardized design and dull colors.
To promote creativity and improve the students’ ability to learn in the classroom, the Seoul Metropolitan Government had implemented the school environment improvement and color consulting project for six years from 2011 through 2016.
Through the project, a total of 27 schools including special schools have been changed so far according to student’s level and characteristics of school. In the transformation, a method of color therapy, or chromo-therapy, was applied so that color energy absorbed by the eyes has widespread effects on the whole body and improves psychotherapy.
For instance, a dining hall at Geumok Middle School was colored in orange to improve the function of the space, and its gym was painted red to give the vitality to the space. At Bonghwa Middle School, each classroom was painted colors to match each class subject. Nokcheon Elementary School where used to be difficult to find a direction because of its all connected on all sides was colored with a motif of four seasons to provide students a better spatial awareness. In case of dark and dull schools without enough windows or bad-lighted ones due to nearby buildings, bright and delightful colors and graphic designs were applied.
A study shows that colorful corridors and stairs help students improve their abilities to attention and concentration. According the test conducted on 20 elementary students in 2014 by the Korea Association of Clinical Art Therapy, colors help raise the attention power by 40 percent and the concentration ability by 27 percent, while lowering levels of stress hormones by 20.7 percent on average. A survey carried out in 2016 also shows that more than 90 percent of the students from pilot schools said that color changes at school had a positive effect on their school lives.
Since the effectiveness of the project has been proven, the city government plans to
commission the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education to start it in earnest so that as
many schools as possible in the city improve their environment.
To better implement the project dubbed “Changing Colors at School,” the SMOE will hold
workshops where students and color therapists discuss together and come up to
solutions that mirror the students’ sensibility, and apply color designs to 20 schools first.
Meanwhile, the SMG has completed the publication of guideline book for the project. The
book includes know-hows the city government had acquired during the six-year test
period. The guideline book will be distributed to the SMOE, district offices of education
and organizations involved. It is also downloadable at sculture.seoul.go.kr or design.seoul.go.kr.