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    This article is a part of our ongoing exploration of intentional spaces and neuroaesthetics.  


    Intuitively, we all know the feeling of entering a room and immediately feeling at ease, or stimulated. That interacting with elements of design—be it sensations of light, color or texture—can trigger emotions and spark a dynamic interplay of neurotransmitters in our brains. This process can shape our feelings, thinking and behavior. There is more to design than meets the eye.  


    Neuroaesthetics is about mind-body connection: a scientific discipline that explores and measures how creative expression makes an impact on us. We continue to explore, experiment with and consciously incorporate these into our interiors, creating spaces that feel just right.  

    We know that color deeply affects our mood in a space, helping us feel relaxed or energized. “Colors speak to me deeply, not merely as a visual layer, but as a language of emotions,” says Josephine Akvama Hoffmeyer of the Copenhagen-based surface design studio File Under Pop.  


    She is also a long-time collaborator and part of the jury for Muuto’s Design Contest, launching in June. In her work, you will find that color and material is not just about aesthetics, it is a tool for storytelling, enabling us to create atmosphere, evoke memories and shape perceptions of a space or object.  


    Akvama Hoffmeyer finds that her approach to creating colors, materials, surfaces, and objects is an emotional and philosophical endeavour, allowing her to delve into the dualities we all have within us—the need for light and darkness, calm and energy, to shout and whisper. Born to a Ghanaian father and a Danish mother, growing up in Denmark, she has a keen desire to find harmony in her work, to unite and reconcile.  

    Josephine Akvama Hoffmeyer “Exploring colors is delving into the essence of expression. It's about understanding the psychology behind each shade, how it resonates with different individuals, and how it can transform a space into an emotional landscape.”

    Akvama Hoffmeyer’s way with color is almost therapeutic or meditative, aiming to bring peace and clarity to people’s lives. 


    “I’m inspired by all the things outside of me—art, music, travel, nature, architecture. Artists and people, with all their differences, and ways of living and working, inspire me greatly,” she tells. The work of Ghanaian and Nigeria-based artist El Anatsui is currently on her mind, having just seen his textile work made of bottle caps, with their metallic, silver and gold tones. Combined with powerful hues, it weaves together material, colors and content. The work shows how we can find meaning and beauty in the mundane parts of life, in the things that we think of as scraps.  

    Josephine Akvama Hoffmeyer "When working with color, I see it as more than just a visual element; it's a means of communication. It's about finding the right tone to convey a message, to evoke an emotion, or to establish a connection with the viewer,” she says. She compares it to music, her other great love in life. "

    “Color, to me, is like a symphony where each hue plays a unique note, contributing to the harmony of the composition. Whether it's the calming blues of a serene landscape or the fiery reds of passion, each color carries its own melody”, says Akvama Hoffmeyer, who names the singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell as particularly influential, one to find new depths in.  

    There is a holistic spirit to the way she works with color, space and object. In everything she does, there is an emphasis on individual and the personal space, acknowledging that we are all different, and that colors enables us to create a home more profoundly attuned and true to who we are. After all, color genuinely affects our mood, how we feel and behave in a room. 


    “Color is not just a surface, it is in dialogue with what it is applied to. It becomes one with both material and function. It should be used with care, as every hue has a temperament of its own,” she explains.  

    Josephine Akvama Hoffmeyer “I believe in the importance of aligning the inner emotional landscape with the external environment through thoughtful design.”

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