Energy: vibrant color and light
One of the most beloved stories of city transformation and impact comes from Tirana, Albania.
Edi Rama, a former 11-year mayor of the city, was an artist before becoming a politician.
This LINK showcases his work and the buildings of Tirana before and after, but what is even more remarkable than the beautiful colors was how the painting of the buildings revitalized a city because color and light led to systemic JOY in a community.
Color is energy made visible.
“While contentment is curled up on the sofa, and bliss is lost in tranquil meditation, JOY is skipping, jiving, twirling, giggling. It is a unique exuberant emotion, a high-energy form of happiness” (page 15).
I had never thought about the intense emotion of JOY being correlated to movement. I actually got pretty excited about this as I love movement and moving fast. To think that JOY is correlated with a feeling of energy makes perfect sense. The color and light produces an energy that leads to greater JOY just like in the story of Tirana.
“At the core of the energy aesthetic is this: a vibrancy that lets us know our surroundings are alive and can help us thrive” (page 19).
Whether I am collaborating and connecting with friends, family members, colleagues, or clients, it is common to hear others talk about wanting to move from survive to thrive. Choosing design aesthetics that promote that vibrancy in our daily surroundings is critical!
For me personally, I was challenged in the energy chapter to think about not only my surroundings, but also what I wear everyday. Ingrid’s stories encouraged me to dress for the JOY I want in my life and that I want to create for others. At one point she asks, “Could it be that our world would be more colorful if only people weren’t afraid of looking foolish?” (page 30)
As I read the chapter, I kept thinking about a coat I had received as a gift from my husband over a decade ago. This coat has started more amazing conversations than anything else I have ever owned. My family laughs because when I wear it, people come up to me all day long commenting on how much they love this coat! The coat is alive with color and the flowers and pattern draw you in. When I first started wearing it, I was so worried people would think it was too much or that I was trying too hard. The coat has produced beautiful connection with humanity that has blessed me greatly and produced JOY for others…so I will keep wearing it!
What places do you visit where you feel more energized and alive?
What colors do you love and how do they make you feel?
What you can wear that makes you feel joyful and passes JOY to others?
I am going to stop thinking that color is childish and frivolous.
JOY is a need and not a want, so I am giving myself permission to seek a greater awareness around color and light and how they are affecting my world. Join me in the journey of #JOYfinding!
“Energy.” Joyful: the Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness, by Ingrid Fetell Lee, Little, Brown Spark, 2018, pp. 13–41.