BUILDING BLOCK dimensional level


BUILDING BLOCK 8-level to 64-level


Chroma level effect on activity

The chroma level has an effect on activity (Miyamoto, 2003). The brighter the colour, the more a sense of dynamism will emerge (Valdez & Mehrabian, 1994). The psychologists da Pos and Green-Armytage (2007) obtained the same result in their research into colours and basic emotions. Passive feelings such as sadness and fear are associated with very unsaturated monochrome colours, while active feelings such as happiness, surprise and anger are linked to bright and very contrasting colours.

Effect of degree of disorder or assymmetry

The degree of disorder or order is linked to sadness or happiness (Osgood, 1957). Jesús Ibáñez (2010) from the Pompeu Fabra University in Spain has done research on the connection between the emotions pleasant / unpleasant and the degree of symmetry in a composition. The use of symmetry to describe intrinsic attractiveness or rejection has been inspired by recent studies in which it has been established that perception of symmetry in the human face and health are linked to each other. Johnston (2007) states that symmetry is an indication of immunology. The less asymmetry in a human body, the better the immune system. That would be the reason why we are attracted by symmetrical people. The increase of asymmetry, and thus of aversion, described in the Ibáñez study, manifests itself mainly in the degree of rotation of the lines in the composition, and in the difference in length of the lines.

expansive and contractive facial expression

“In 1978 psychologist John Bassili conducted an experiment in which he painted the faces and necks of several actors and actresses black and then applied one hundred luminescent dots. Participants were then asked to assume different expressions, such as ‘happy’, ‘sad’, ‘surprised’, and ‘angry’. In the final video recording, with only the luminescent dots visible, the outcome was quite revealing: while expressions of anger showed acute downward V shapes (angled eyebrows, cheeks, and chin), expressions of happiness were conveyed by expansive, outward curved patterns (arched cheeks, eyes, and mouth). In other words, happy faces resembled an expansive circle, while angry faces resembled a downward triangle.”

Lima, M. (2017)

Fate and charity

A semantic connection between fate and the idea of charity can be found in the mythology of the Slavs. The Vily, a Slavic mother goddess and pagan clan goddess, who always manifests herself in threefold, brings happiness and prosperity to young people. At night they enter the homes of righteous people to do housework. They take care of the single widow’s child and work in the garden to grow fruit. (Vyncke, 1969)

Rising composition and emotion

Simonds (1983) connects a rising composition with optimism, success and happy feelings, falling with pessimism, defeat and depression.

The colour of ‘happiness’ in 9 countries


Chromatic colours. Mostly yellow. Russia: also orange. Nepal: also red.
Jung et al. (2018)

Up/down arm movements and emotional expression

De Meijer (1989) investigated the relationships between characteristics of arm movements and emotional expression. He concluded that positive emotions (such as happiness) could be linked to upward movements. Negative emotions (such as anger and sadness) could be linked to downward movements.