WOTH is really all about colour. And for the most part, that’s down to me – I just love colour. It’s cheerful and, in my opinion, determines the atmosphere of everything. So in fact, WOTH owes a lot to Klaske Vogt. Klaske was my teacher at the academy. To be honest, at the time I thought she was totally nuts. She had us cut aquarelle paper (shewas very specific about the type of paper) into pieces precisely 5 x 5cm, which we then had to paint in gouache. From white to black in 100 steps, from which you then had to make a perfect colour wheel in 25 shades of grey. From yellow to red in 100 steps, reduced to 25shades of orange. And the same from red to blue and from blue to yellow. Ending up with the ultimate circle from yellow to orange to red to purple to blue to green and back to yellow. All according to Johannes Itten’s colour theory.
‘Look through your eyelashes!’ she’d exclaim, urging us to find theperfect shade of grey. A hue that had the same tone and intensity
as, let’s say, soft pink. And – you’ve probably already guessed – oncethe right colour had been found, we had to go from pink to that grey in 100 steps. Which, by the way, resulted in the most interestingcolours. This was not an exercise that could be done while watchingTV in the evening, concentration was essential: one drop of red too many and the colour was ruined and you could start all over again.
I must have measured, cut and painted thousands of squares of paper. We cursed her, my classmates and I, and those who came before and after. It wasn’t until years later, when I got my first job, that I realizedthat other people don’t immediately see the composition of a colour, whereas it’s never a secret to me. I now know how much I owe to Klaske’s lessons. There’s a reason to get to the bottom of something, to get your hands dirty and to work hard. That, too, was an important lesson. Now I can enjoy Hella Jongerius’s beautiful explosion of colour in London, which I will definitely visit when I’m there for theDesign Festival. And I have a new addiction to keep me busy in the evenings: the app ‘I Love Hue’. I used to complain about having to arrange thousands of colour squares according tohue and tone, but now it’s a meditative experience that I sharewith many others.
— Foreword founding editor