Seeing to the world around us: The Colours

Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways.”

Oscar Wilde

  • Next Date

    November 2024

  • Length

    5 weeks

  • Format


  • Investment

    300€ (under 23)

Seeing to the world around us: The Colours

An important part of our interaction with nature, objects and even people derives from our perception of colours.


Colours convey information: a green strawberry will not be edible, but the colour gives us hope – that it will turn into a delicious red strawberry.


Colours give us orders: green, go ahead, yellow, put the brakes on, red, don’t even think about it!


Colours influence our moods, create atmospheres, encode resistance, and warn of danger – yes, that beautiful blue frog is really poisonous. The colours of the flag, the colours of my club.


Colours are an integral part of our lives. So much to say about colours, to do with colours, and to know about colours.


From a more scientific point of view, colour is a visual perception given by our brain as a response of the specialised cells of the retina to light through highly complex mechanisms involving Physical Optics, Biophysics and Biochemistry.

Course Content

In this course, we will look at colours from multiple perspectives, from the more scientific ones involving Optics-Physics, anatomy and physiology of vision, to the more applied ones of colours in art and decoration.

  • The course includes the following topics:
  • A brief history of light
  • The organ of vision, its structure and its functioning
  • Light and colour as physical phenomena
  • The different sources of light (from the sun to LEDs)
  • The addition and subtraction of colours
  • Colour in objects, food, nature
  • The psychological effects of colour
  • The use of colour in art
  • The use of colour in decoration
  • The playful applications of colour
Learning Outcomes

The course aims to give a different perspective of the world around us through colours.


For example, colours assume an extremely important role since they have the ability to influence customer choices. According to Battistela, Colombo and Abreu (2010) they stimulate and direct a target audience to the product for which they are intended.


Primary colours, for example, attract more young people, and pastel tones draw the attention of older people. It is necessary to understand how to use colours to make the desired audience feel welcome, even in the virtual environment.


A communication that is concerned with conveying ideas and emotions and, above all, interfering in the desires and wishes of those who are interested should not choose colours arbitrarily or based only on aesthetic sensations, as colours are part of the image of products and the brand.

Participants Profile

This course is suitable for a wide range of professional profiles with career aspirations in the Tourism and Hospitality sector and who want to understand how science and technology can and are changing customer experiences and creating new opportunities in the industry.


Some examples:

  • Operational/business unit managers with ambitions to progress to leadership at the corporate level;
  • Managers who want to ensure their organisation is ready for the latest digital and technological trends;
  • Hotel department managers looking for a promotion to General Manager;
  • Entrepreneurs planning to launch their own business in the T&H industry;
  • Participants with a management, economics, or even engineering background who want to make a career in the industry will gain knowledge and learn about technologies and innovations contributing to new niches and opportunities.
  • Communication and marketing managers of companies in the sector
  • Publicists
  • UX designers
  • Interior designers and architects
Program Coordination
Paulo António Ribeiro

Associate Professor, NOVA FCT

Graduated in Physics and Materials Engineering at the Nova School of Science and Technology in 1989, received in 1999 the degree of Doctor in Materials Sciences and Engineering from the University of São Paulo, Brazil.

In 2000 assumed the position of Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics at the NOVA School of Science and Technology, where he has held the position of Associate Professor since 2020.

From an academic point of view, he has been dedicated to teaching General Physics, Optics and Photonics. Since 2016 he has been the Faculty’s Ambassador for Secondary Schools, in the context of which he has been holding seminars, didactic sessions, exhibitions and training for Secondary Students and Teachers.

He was a founding member of the functional molecular systems research and development group, in 2008, where he has been dedicated to the development and characterization of thin films of organic functional molecules for applications in Optics and Photonics and since 2021 he is an integrated member of the Associated Laboratory of Instrumentation, Biomedical Engineering and Radiation Physics Laboratory (LIBPhys).

As a result of his scientific activities, he has four book chapters, about 100 articles in indexed international journals, about 100 communications in annals of events and a patent. Since 2013, he has chaired the PHOTOPTICS conference series, a new series of international scientific events in the field of Optical Photonics and Laser Technology.

Pedro Cardoso Vieira

Auxiliar Professor, NOVA FCT

Auxiliar Professor at the Department of Physics of the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the New University of Lisbon (FCT/UNL, Portugal) and scientific and technological consultant at Future-Compta SA, where he holds the position of Research Director.

He holds a BSc in Technological Physics (1992), a MSc in Biophysics and Bioengineering (1994) both awarded by the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon, Portugal and a PhD in Biomedical Physics and Bioengineering (1999) awarded by the University of Aberdeen – UK.

Main research areas include instrumentation, ML and AI algorithms, image processing, biomedical engineering and optics, applied to several scientific areas.

He has multiple participations in research projects, including as project coordinator.

He is the author of more than 70 publications in scientific journals and books, and is responsible for the supervision of 8 doctorates and 36 master’s degrees. He maintains strong collaborations with industry, being one of the co-founders of a university technological spin-off, NGNS Ingenious Solutions Ltd where he was CTO between 2005 and 2017.

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