The SICO Color Naming Project

Forging Ties Between Educators and Industry


  • Tiiu Poldma University of Montreal
  • Hans Samuelson University of Montreal



How can interior design educators develop closer ties to industry? How do we develop mutually beneficial relationships, which respect the integrity of academic intellectual freedom and contribute to the development of disciplinary knowledge while providing useful services to industries competing in a market-driven economy?

The SICO Color Naming Project was a successful university-industry collaboration that used design knowledge and methods as the basis for an innovative, result-driven process. It explains how an industry need led to the development of a new way to name colours, and how colour affectivity played a key role in the project, providing a catalyst for the naming process. During this process, a multidisciplinary team worked together to develop a novel framework for designing coherent, structured, and emotionally resonant links between colours and names.

This paper describes the phenomenologically grounded strategy used to manage the design process and guide the team through the naming of 2400 colours in two languages.


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How to Cite

Poldma, Tiiu, and Hans Samuelson. 2004. “The SICO Color Naming Project: Forging Ties Between Educators and Industry”. Idea Journal 5 (1):59-69.



Design Research Paper