Wellbeing Column: The A-Museing Study Space



Which Study Space Is Right For You?

WORDS | Brendon D’Souza

From the moment the presenters of a HSC preparation workshop told our year eleven cohort of the memory-boosting qualities of using coloured pens, I made it a point to switch to coloured inks in my note-taking. I raced to the shops and picked up the two packs of Papermate Kilometrico’s in standard and neon colours and got to work, filling the pages of my exercise books with scribbles and scrawlings, that would help me remember the facts. Due to the added choices, my notes were soon accompanied by images and diagrams that suited the text. Not only were the notes easier to read, but they were fun. Suddenly, study became like walking through a personal art gallery, where I viewed and critiqued the works, which my brain photographed into its banks.

Our mental awareness is not the only system that can be aided by colour. Mixing up the colours on your dinner plate is a good way of ensuring your body is getting a the full spectrum of nutrients naturally occurring in foods. (Brief about the various qualities of coloured foods).

With the opening of the MUSE space on the second floor of the old Library this year, came the opportunity to experience a new way of studying – in colour. Woods Bagot, the architectural firm behind the alternative design divided the area into coloured sections, each with its own mood and purpose. So which space is right for your study?

Yellow: As you enter MUSE Street from the main entrance you will find the trapezoidal, lemon-yellow walls of the first shared study space . Within this room expect to feel clear, bright and uplifted . Yellow is known to aid memory so this space is perfect for last minute cramming. Yellow does however evoke irritation , so group work is definitely a no-no here.

Orange: The enclosed spaces are perfect for group work, with enough seats for eight to ten people per room. It’s hinged panels can be adjusted for privacy. Orange is a natural anti-depressant and promotes creativity, but it is known to induce hunger . Let’s hope your group leader remembers to pack the secret stash of goodies for break time.

Blue: The Study Square is the perfect zone for creative thinking and relaxation, as blue has a powerful sedative effect on the body . It is the perfect spot for individual study: especially drafting ideas when you first tackle that assignment. Blue helps to suppress hunger , but too much of it can be depressing, so avoid spending too much time in here.

Green: At the very back of MUSE is the MUSE Garden space. Parsley green walls, foam couches, armchairs, daybeds. The only thing not green is the grey carpet. With its strong connection to nature, this space will help you relax and feel refreshed ; even the neon ‘Recharge’ sign is hinting at this. Perfect for flicking over notes or light reading.

Pink: Adjacent to the ‘Garden’ are the pink and black individual study booths that are handy for recharging laptops and other electronic devices. Pink will alleviate the loneliness of self-study , but has the ability to lower one’s heart rate, so it’s probably not good for anything too rigorous, or you may risk falling asleep.

White: The white booths with the aluminium frames are perfect for group discussion or light communal study. White is the symbol of purity and peacefulness so it will be useful when negotiating ideas with your group members.