The history of violet: Artificial Regality by Naama Agassi

By Penny Craswell

The history of the colour purple has led to its high value prior to synthetic production, meaning it has had long associations with royalty, the church and power. This is the subject of designer Naama Agassi’s latest colour research, called Artificial Regality.

Imperial Purple by Naama Agassi. Photo: Talia Rosin

According to Agassi: “In the past, the purple was a coveted colour used to denote wealth and power. This is because until it became artificially manufactured, its production was a lengthy and laborious task. It took as many as 250,000 snails to yield just one ounce of usable dye. As always in design, supply and demand generate desire and prestige. Read more

Design writings: Darragh O’Brien on how (little) designers research

“Although we as designers recognise the need to inform ourselves about the people we design for, it appears that we generally do not access explicit information, beyond our own experience or that of our clients. Most of us do not refer to research literature, nor do we engage in post-occupancy analysis of completed projects. The primary reasons given were a lack of time and/or the financial resources to do so, but there is also something deep in the culture of design that gets in our way – our training.”

In “The Knowledge Problem”, Melbourne based writer and academic Darrah O’Brien discusses how – and how much – designers and architects use research in their work. O’Brien delves into a new survey by Evidence Based Design Journal which shows that although practitioners may admit to the value of such research, they rarely conduct their own.

Great reading in – outgoing Editor Peter Salhani has made this Australia’s best design and architecture website – congrats Peter!