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Edition 22

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Page 233 of 246

Any professional in the design field knows that color affects mood; the creation of a positive emotional color field is a staple of design practice. But what if color could reduce the dropout rate among disaffected high school students? The proof is in the patina: it does. Philanthropist, industrial designer and design doyenne Ruth Shuman, who herself lives in a beautiful Gaetano Pesce-designed apartment in which the dominant colors are yellow and rich Roman orange, founded Publicolor after visiting New York City public schools: "I was just astonished. They were so prison-like!..I just saw that there was a major disconnect between this very disrespectful environment and our expectations of excellence from teachers and students…I wanted to put a paint brush in the hands of disaffected students, let them paint their schools. First of all, their schools will look beautiful, and secondly, they'll develop a sense of pride in ownership and they will start showing up." Ruth Shuman is hands-on in her mission to invigorate and indeed rescue both the physical and aca- demic fabric of public schools through color, visiting schools herself and conducting workshops on color with the stu- dents. "I teach the kids about color as visual language. HYLAND

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