Justin Gabriel Chua


“Wait for us!”

I helplessly called out to my younger cousins who were already lost in the maze of colorful blocks, which, up until then, they had only seen on iPad screens while playing Minecraft. Who could blame them for being so eager? Against the pale whites of the mall’s walls and floors, the vibrant fortress that was the Boysen Mix and Match Color Play set-up drew kids and grown-ups alike into a playground of blocks and paint, a free-of-charge opportunity to have some fun and to showcase creativity.

Awaken the Child

Walking into the color maze, you’ll find large glass cubes filled with shapes of different colors; once you’ve chosen four, you’ll be lead into an open space with stations of paints and brushes at your disposal.

If you’re looking for a way for your kids to get off of their screens, then Boysen ColorPlay is it. Whether it’s carefully painting on their favorite cartoon characters or dipping the blocks straight into the paint, the activity is a great outlet for children’s creativity.

This isn’t to say that adults won’t have a little fun of their own. For serious artists, four blocks and a few cans of paint are more than enough to create an Instagram-worthy work of art. For the not-so-serious, it’s a simple avenue for self-expression, and makes for great family bonding time. (And great selfies too; you can take your own polaroids once you’re finished.)


Discover the Designer

More than just being a fun form of creative expression, Boysen ColorPlay provides insights into one’s inclination for design by taking a look at which palettes you are drawn to. Do you prefer the warm atmosphere that Tradition provides, or the chill vibe of Technology ? Do you identify with the understated Minimal, or does the loudness of Maximal speak to you? These are important questions for people putting together their own place, and Boysen ColorPlay activities and booklets can help with finding the answers.

Boysen ColorPlay also lends its Virtual Reality (VR) set for those looking for a more in-depth experience with the palettes. With the Boysen VR App, you’re transported into sample rooms created to represent each palette, with new virtual rooms released every month. It’s particularly useful for architects and interior designers who want to see how the color themes could be utilized in the real world.

A splash of color is never a bad thing; whether you’re looking for a way to bring out that inner child of yours, or are out to find the palette for the perfect interiors for you, Boysen’s ColorPlay is something you should definitely see for yourself.

You’ll find Boysen Color Play in Robinsons Metro East on June 16 to 18. Drop by with the family and have a lot of fun!

No, you did not read that wrong; to many around the world, it’s not uncommon for milk and cereal to taste like the color blue, for the word “college” to taste like sausage, or for a person’s name to be the color violet. This unusual pairing of the senses is called synesthesia, and affects around four percent of the entire population. While it might sound like a random, useless quirk of nature, the study of this unusual trait sheds some light on how closely we associate our senses with one another, and may even teach us a thing or two about how we can use color to boost memory and spark up some creativity.

How it Works

Synesthesia literally means “joint sensation”; as one sense is activated, another sense is triggered to complement it. Take for example graphemes, one of the most common forms of synesthesia. Here, written elements such as numbers, letters, and even punctuation marks seem to each have their own individual color; even when written in black, the number “2” could naturally be formed in the mind as the color green, and so on. These kinds of pairings are often established in childhood, and are attributed to hyper-connected neurons in the brain.


Synesthesia as a Creative Advantage

Much like photographic memory, synesthesia is a rare trait that comes with its own advantages. Synesthetes’ habit of combining the senses better allows them the ability to link seemingly unrelated things, a trait that is more than useful to those in the creative field. Chromesthesia, the translation of sound into color, is a perfect example. Great musicians have been proven to be synthesthetes, including legendary composer Franz Liszt, the piano man Billy Joel, and rapper Kanye West.  Duke Ellington would see a D note as dark blue, and a G as blue satin. Pharell describes his hit single “Happy”, as an orange-lemon. Even blind singer, Stevie Wonder, claims that music allows him to vividly visualize colors in his mind.

Stevie Wonder
Image from wikimedia
For starters, though many of us may not fit the medical definition, we are all synesthetes in our own right. See, the human brain is wired to link our senses together; it’s why we find nothing wrong with a young couple being “sweet” on a date, why one gets “green” with envy, why we don’t question Pocahontas when she tells us to paint with all the colors of the wind. It’s this web that makes life more interesting, and it’s a web we can take advantage of, because the fact of the matter is,

You Can Train Yourself to be Synesthetic

Or at least, researchers say, to some extent. By consciously associating two sensations into one joint sensation, your brain will start to build a stronger connection between the two senses, and may even start to subconsciously start to connect other senses to the developed joint sensation. Of the sensations, color, a simple, easily recognizable sensation, seems to be the best way to start.

Wait, Why Do I Want to be Synesthetic Again?

We’re wired to remember sensations more than anything.; color and emotion in particular are sensations that have a strong pull on our memory. Training yourself to be synesthetic by relating colors or taste to words on a textbook, could prove to be a serious memory-booster. Think of the classmate with a dozen highlighters of every hue at her disposal, or how some scientists say chewing the same flavor of gum while studying and taking a test will reap better results. This is creating more pathways between certain parts of your brain, strengthening the bond between these parts.

Notice how most fast food restaurants always seem to favor using red or red combined with yellow? The two colors stimulate appetite and leave one happy. What about this famous coffee place with their white logo against a laid-out background of subdued green? Green evokes nature, which suggests environmentalism. So by all means, paint your kitchen red when you need to gain weight. Go for a cool gray if you want to suppress that overactive appetite

Since synesthesia between two senses tends to get the other senses involved with each other, this makes for a very unusual, individualistic way of looking at the world since no two synesthetes are the same. What this allows for is unbridled creativity, a knack for coming up with something novel, the ability to create links between the most unlikely of things. In other words, it makes for a more colorful and fun, and the possibilities are endless.