Philosophy of the colors

"Goethe's theory of the origin of the spectrum isn't a theory of its origin that has proved unsatisfactory; it is really not a theory at all. Nothing can be predicted by means of it. It is, rather, a vague schematic outline, of the sort we find in James's psychology. There is no experimentum crucis for Goethe's theory of colour."

—Ludwig Wittgenstein, Remarks on Colour

The colours chosen to inhabit the environment of N.E.T.S. are inspired from the six colours of Goethe.
Goethe's colour wheel is fully symmetrical and reflects his own experimental findings with regard to after-images, and the oppositions inherent in coloured shadows and complementary colours. Goethe was interested in the psychological perspectives of colour thus his colour wheel was chosen to guide and represent the colouring surrounding of The Mediterranean Graduate School of Applied Social Cognition, N.E.T.S. – Neuroscience – Education – Technology – Systems.

The Colour Wheel

Goethe's colour wheel served as an inspiration to the colouring of the college's premises. The colours utilised for each surrounding reflect on each area's purpose and the psychological state embraced. In his handwritten notes Goethe assigned a human character trait to each colour.

Goethe's Theory of Colours provided the first systematic study of the physiological effects of colour (1810), with his observations on the effect of opposed colours leading to the symmetric arrangement of his colour wheel - "for the colours diametrically opposed to each other...are those that reciprocally evoke each other in the eye" (Goethe, Theory of Colours, 1810) – and anticipating Ewald Hering's opponent colour theory (1872). Goethe colour wheel concerns the "Allegoric, symbolic, mystic Usage of Colour".

The right side with the warm colours is denoted positive, while the left one with the cold colours is denoted negative. By adding red shades, one arrives on the positive side via orange and on the negative side via violet at the cumulation of pure red (crimson).


A Colour Wheel or colour circle is thus an abstract illustrative organization of colour hues around a circle showing relationships between primary colours, secondary colours, complementary colours etc. The typical artists' paint or pigment colour wheel includes the blue, red, and yellow primary colours with corresponding secondary colours green, orange, and violet or purple. The tertiary colours are red–orange, red–violet, yellow–orange, yellow–green, blue–violet and blue–green.

Following the aforementioned conception, the Institute and College's wall colouring, in addition to the basic white which represents serenity and sophistication, is outlined in the table below.

N.E.T.S wall colouring and psychological perspective

Colour Justification Environment utilized
(Positive qualities)


The colour of heavenly consciousness, truth, harmony and hope, blue soothes and quiets the passions and mind. It is the colour of honesty, clear communication and logic. Pale blue, and in particular sky blue has a very calming and soothing effect on the senses, promoting concentrations and helping individuals stay productive for long periods of time. Deep sky blue colour is on the colour wheel (RGB/HSV colour wheel) halfway between azure and cyan. - Library
- Study areas
- Training rooms

(Intelligence, communication, trust, efficiency, serenity, duty, logic, coolness, reflection, calm)


Green strikes the eye in such a way as to require no adjustment whatever and is, therefore, restful. Being in the centre of the spectrum, it is the colour of balance. Light green with a yellow or blue base is a refreshing but restful colour. It's a soothing colour prevents sleepiness and helps individuals stay in productive mode all day long. - IT Laboratory
- Counselling rooms of Humanitarian Affairs Unit

(Harmony, balance, refreshment, universal love, rest, restoration, reassurance, environmental awareness, equilibrium, peace)



Since it is a combination of red and yellow, orange is stimulating. It focuses our minds on issues of physical comfort - food, warmth, shelter etc. - and sensuality. It is a 'fun' colour. Orange is an energizing colour that evokes excitement, creativity and happiness. On the emotional level, it stimulates creativity and ambition, as well as energetic activity. - Humanitarian Affairs Unit

(Physical comfort, food, warmth, security, sensuality, passion, abundance, fun)


A joyously warm colour, yellow represents wisdom, understanding, and intuitive insight. It stimulates the mind outward creatively and imaginatively, and is the wellspring of all emotion. The right yellow lifts our spirits, self-esteem, confidence and optimism. It can also be associated with intellectual thinking: discernment, memory, clear thinking, decision-making and good judgment. Also aiding organization and the understanding of different points of view. - Global Education Unit

(Optimism, confidence, self-esteem, extraversion, emotional strength, friendliness, creativity)



Red, yellow, and white are the primary colours required to create peach. Peach represents immortality in Chinese civilization because of the peach tree of immortality thought to be on a mountainside somewhere in western China.

Red is a powerful colour. It is stimulating and lively, very friendly but as it can be at the same time perceived as demanding and aggressive combining it with yellow which represents wisdom, understanding and intuitive insight, along with white which represents clarity, sophistication and efficiency this warm colour presents an ideal solution for working environments.

- New Media Lab

(Wisdom, understanding, intuitive insight, immortality)



Brown usually consists of red and yellow, with a large percentage of black. Consequently, it has much of the same seriousness as black, but is warmer and softer. Brown has associations with the earth and the natural world. It is a solid, reliable colour. A light cocoa or chocolaty brown colour can stir your senses and create an earthy, nature-inspired ambiance. This colour also creates a feeling of being 'grounded', strong and resilient.

- Exterior/Interior columns of the reception areas.

(Grounded, strong and resilient)