The new Center for Excellence in Syracuse spares no opportunity to express that it is “green”. It officially opens this afternoon. During prototype set up phase–I was there on installation duty for something I’m not allowed to write about before its officially unveiled at 2pm but will tell you about later–that greenness felt freshest before all the partnership logos went up. Features like lights in the bathroom that turn on when you enter the stall were not activated yet in the morning, but were in the afternoon. Likewise for the automatic flush. Interior finishes, bare concrete floor aside, are all either white, which is gorgeous except for the tops of the exposed ductwork will always be dusty; and green, which is gorgeous except when it is reflecting in perfect daylighting off human flesh tones.
It turns out that scientifically, green is the wavelength that looks brightest on the Commission Internationale de l’Eclarirage (CIE)’s famous chart of visual perception. Thus the brightest walks softest on the earth. Green is smack dab in the center of the visible spectrum. It’s a word that can sound trite with repetition in popular design culture that nonetheless has a phenomenological spine.