The colours of climate change

© Jack Kruf (2019) Climate change [fine art print, 1/1, sold]. Tilburg: private collection.

Following the Sustainable Development Goals, climate change is despite Covid-19 not forgotten. More so, the last is seen by scientists, managers and experts as an omen what we can expect when we keep disrupting the Earth ecosystem. Goal 13 is Climate Action: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. This goal has 5 targets:

    • Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries.
    • Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning.
    • Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning.
    • Implement the commitment undertaken by developed-country parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to a goal of mobilizing jointly $100 billion annually by 2020 from all sources to address the needs of developing countries in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation and fully operationalize the Green Climate Fund through its capitalization as soon as possible.
    • Promote mechanisms for raising capacity for effective climate change-related planning and management in least developed countries and small island developing States, including focusing on women, youth and local and marginalized communities.

My personal expression of climate change is displayed above. I imagined the canvas of our world as a chess board with 8*8 fields and estimated the relatively most hurt ecosystems due to this change: coral reef (Pantone Living Coral ) and tropical rainforest (Pantone Forest Biome).

Government (Pantone Imperial Blue) is in fact a tiny spot on the canvas because it is doing not that much to tackle or change course. Most of the public leaders are still in denial or have no idea how to come into action. And we as citizens are not active either and go on with daily life. Storm (Pantone Storm Gray) is coming.

It is a personal art impression – or maybe better: an expression of an impression – to remind me that we will loose precious life if we continue this way. The present myriad of life is still so abundant in coral reefs and tropical rainforests, we can hardly imagine.

If you have seen these ecosystems, you understand and fall in love immediately. And if this happens there is not turning back, you want to protect and want to stay it forever to be there. I am in love, still (it is actually since 1977, the year I met (my) Professor Roelof Oldeman and with him did my first discoveries in and of the forest).

I am a realist, not a pessimist. I hear you thinking. But I did my homework as Wageningen University ecologist. Believe me, storm is coming, if we keep sitting on our hands. Maybe this small (art) expression is a small contribution to one of the targets of this sustainable development goal.

The colours of climate change will change over time. The coral reef and rainforest colours will disappear over time. A lot of gray will come in and the tiny spots of goverment remain insignificant as they are now,  I’m afraid. The driving political landscape is too dominant, too volatile and too focused on short term gains and profits. Remember I am not a pessimist, but a realist. The scientist in me remains. I like the colours. I hope they stay.

Beauty Power Mystery

Kruf, J.P. (2018). Beauty Power Mystery.Deze driehoek draag ik altijd op zak. Ik heb een oudere wetenschappelijke publicatie wat afgestoft. Ik kwam het tegen met het ordenen van mijn archief. Wouter van Sambeek en ik (Kruf et al. 1982) deden uitgebreid onderzoek naar de beleving en waardering van bossen. Het door ons uitgevoerde sociaal-psychologisch onderzoek met behulp van onder meer factoranalyse van diepte-interviews en belevingsscores leverde kort gezegd het beeld op dat er drie factoren bepalend zijn voor de mate van aantrekkelijkheid van een bos. Dat zijn: beauty (mooiheid, schoonheid), power (mate van kracht) en mystery (het onontdekte stimuleert en verhoogt betrokkenheid).

Nader literatuuronderzoek leerde, dat deze factoren ook terugkomen in onze beoordeling van mensen, van gebruiksvoorwerpen, van auto’s, van interieurs en van landschappen. Het is iets universeels. Het is een bekende driehoek in de wereld van design. Ik heb deze les, deze bevinding, wijsheid ook, altijd bij mij gedragen in het eigen doen en laten, in het uitvoeren van projecten, maken en presenteren van plannen, in het leiden van organisaties.

Deze driehoek is als het ware een geodriehoek: iets moet er goed uitzien (mooi vormgegeven in kleur, materiaal of styling) én moet intrinsieke kracht bezitten en uitstralen (authentiek zijn, staan als een huis) én het moet aanzetten om het onbekende verder te willen onderzoeken (niet voorspelbaar en saai zijn, maar aanzetten om meer te willen weten). Het laatst licht ik toe met een citaat uit Szolosi et al. (2014), omdat het zo helder is geformuleerd:

Mystery refers to those settings where a portion of the visual landscape is obstructed, enticing a person to go further (Hammitt, 1980; Kaplan and Kaplan, 1982). A bend in the trail, a view partially concealed by foliage, or a stream that meanders out of sight all possess attributes related to mystery (Gimblett et al., 1985). Scenes of this type often provide the prospect to acquire additional information. This in turn can engage a person’s interest and enhance one’s sense of involvement. – Szolosi et al. (2014)

Het is de match van de drie factoren beauty, power en mystery, die – mits tegelijkertijd en in voldoende mate aanwezig – de aantrekkelijkheid van iets of iemand bepalen. Het scherpt mij bij analyseren en inschatten der dingen om mij heen en helpt zeker om kritisch te zijn op de eigen stijl en performance en om direct in de spiegel te kijken. Waar een geodriehoek al niet goed voor is. Een driehoek die helpt bij het leren en verbeteren dus. De match is cruciaal.

Gimblett, H. R., Itami, R. M., and Fitzgibbon, J. E. (1985). Mystery in an information processing model of landscape preference. Landscape Journal. 4, 87–95.

Hammitt, W. E. (1980). Designing mystery into trail-landscape experiences. J. Interpretation 5, 16–19.

Kaplan, S., and Kaplan, R. (1982). Cognition and Environment: Functioning in an Uncertain World. New York: Praeger.

Kruf, J.P., Sambeek, van W.F.A.M. (1982). Boswaardering en bosbeheer. Wageningen: Wageningen University Library.

Szolosi A.M, Watson J.M and Ruddell E.J. (2014). The benefits of mystery in nature on attention: assessing the impacts of presentation duration. Frontiers in Psychology. 5:1360. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01360

Calmness, Confidence and Connection

Pantone® Classic Blue.

What to wish for in 2020? Pantone® has chosen PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue as the color of the year 2020. This color is about “instilling calm, confidence, and connection, this enduring blue hue highlights our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era.”

This color of the year initiative “has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, home furnishings, and industrial design, as well as product packaging and graphic design.” The color is always carefully chosen by the Pantone Color Institute and is formally based on research related to the latest trends and developments in society.