Life in Techno-Colour

Technology is not just sleek silvers and boring greys. It brings with it an electrifying range of flourescents that exist in everyday things. Colour consultant Latika Khosla helps you take some time out and notice them.


Latika Khosla is on the board of the Color Marketing Group USA and the founder-organizer of Colors India. She is also the founder-director of Freedom Tree, a wholly-Indian, colour-led lifestyle brand with retail presence in Parel, part of Mumbai’s trendy mill district. Her studio, Freedom Tree Design, undertakes colour onsultancies and design assignments. Latika is also on the trend panel for Azko Nobel Colour Futures.


Architects and designers always mentally slot things into place.  Storing ideas, observing people and decoding spaces. Sifting through a library — of patterns, textures and colour — filed in the mind. There is a whole palette in the most mundane objects, if we only stop and look. There is more colour inspiration in everyday things than there are minutes in a year. Stop and take a look at things that are right in front of you. The changing radiance of LED lights, the sleek sheen of a new laptop, or the innards of a computer motherboard. Given this special issue on technology, here is a rosy-eyed take on things as poetic as techno-art and stuff as prosaic as plastic. From discards to installation art, it’s a new colour-day everyday.


A cool, rich palette of deep tech tones. The ‘big blues’ of teal, cerulean and cobalt are harmonized with mauve and contrasted with mustard and a streak of red. It is an exciting combination to use for living spaces that are restfully energizing.

In the converted areas of Shanghai’s mill district, art galleries and creative design studios take residence. In the loft of an industrial designer’s studio is a whole room of haphazardly placed samples — wires, plastic components, metal boxes, stacks of felt, bottles and jars of screws. On a long table are the gutted interiors of computers. Within that last junkpile, I find a motherboard that is instantly elevating.

It is as if I am looking at a beautifully planned city… an aerial view of a part of an industrial area; a large structure with vacant grounds around it… balanced by strong, long slab-like buildings of white. Against a deep blue background are details that look like paving and directional paths. Richly-coloured blocks of mustard and mauve border this image.

Arty Facts

Intense colours of mood-making mauve. Warm chocolate is a classic that anchors the violet and mauve. Signal scarlet glows enticingly. The harmonic hues from the sensual part of the spectrum are always a good scheme for entertaining spaces.

In Bilbao, the Gugenheim museum stands as the rocket ship of the gods from another world. Clad in titanium, it is the art world’s version of a guardian of a timeless and priceless treasury. In a manner, museums are the cultural capitals of  time. As much as painters daub with their brushes, the new artist messes with multimedia. A digital installation is dizzyingly mesmerizing because of the kinetic elements in it. Moving text, glow of light, changing brightness and reflection… technological interventions turn the writer’s words into a digital ticker tape; just so much babel in  Bilbao.

Colour of Faith

There is an intense blast of shocking pinks and reds. Lime green, cobalt and purple join in, overloading the mind. To be inspired by these colours, it is best to make one hue the dominant one. Use chunks of it, like shades of red with streaks of contrasting greens. From the sublime to the simple, multicolourism is always thriving.

Cut to Madurai, India. The oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. A temple town, where an entirely new colour code exists on the majestic Gopuram and the towering pillars of polychromy within the temple complex. In the courtyards of the temple, we get used to devas with blue faces  and devis painted in green. It is thus no surprise when we find vivid hues in every little thing sold along the market streets leading to the temple.

Frequent Intersections

The mesh forms are organic, and the colours fragile yet fluorescent. They stand out against a fathomless background, just like exotic fish against the depth of the sea. The palette is perfectly chic for modern spaces that mix the stylish with the found object.

In Paris, the fashion capital of the world, we spot these mesh vases. As alluring as lace or the veils on women’s hats, the mesh is an apt expression of fashion’s fondest seduction with new, techie materials. The mesh could be of any material; nylon (like in shopping bags); or tin cut, which can be stretched upwards, enlarging the mesh and again flattening it back. As we go forward, we will see daily designs like these, made from rapid prototyping machines.