Do you see what I see? If you’re the same age, sex, culture and language as me – we might. She believes the generation gap to be real. If you have a body ageing in linear fashion, you have a gap – between your beginning and end.
She is an interior designer, so she wants to talk about colour. In the last decade we’ve learned that children’s photoreceptors don’t fully develop until four – they react only to strong contrast and colours before that. So why have we been decorating their rooms in pastel shades? As they get older, we start to see a gender differentiation in colour. Girls have a preference for pink shades – including purples and other related colours. Boys prefer greens and colder shades. “Drunk tank” pink reduces violence amongst prisoners – and is banned from the walls of sports teams’ changing rooms for the away team…
After the school boy comes the lover. The colour of love is red – and it increases all the appetites. Purple blue and orangey yellow are non-sexy colours.
The next age is the soldier – or tribalism. Flags tend to have bright colours. So do sports teams. They’re bold, brave colours.
The next stage is the justice – the workplace. Cyan, white and bright yellow are “efficient” colours. They’re very close to the least romantic colours… Use these colours to make your work more efficient – and to cool down office romances.
On to the grandfather (or pantaloon…). Old people see the same as us – with lenses (or so the assumptions go). That’s wrong. The lens of the eye yellows, making everything browner. And the blue cone cells start to disintegrate, making blues darken. By our 60s, we’re down to 40% of the light entering our eyes compared to our 20s. Older people also lose the ability to see shadows. Why do we build so many things that become trip hazards when you can’t see shadows?
Then, there’s the final scene. For care at end of life, a room with good, even lighting dealing with shadows is perfect. For dementia sufferers, going from a light-coloured carpet to a dark one feels like walking into an abyss, so use uniform carpet colours. Bright colours and high contrast are great for old people – like babies.
Take these things into account, and a gap is bridged.