Published: December 17, 2020
Published: December 17, 2020

Using Color Psychology to Welcome Italian Kids Back to School

We are proud to be celebrating five years since the launch of our COLORFUL COMMUNITIES® initiative in Italy in 2015. While COVID-19 meant many of our 2020 projects have had to be put on hold, Alex Franceschetti and his colleagues at our Architectural Coatings site in Cavallirio found a way to complete a fantastic Colorful Communities project safely and successfully, back where it all began… in Italy!

A Quick Response to the Call for Color

Italy is one of the areas most impacted by the virus. Schools were shut from February till mid-September and children spent much time in quarantine, enjoying little contact with friends and teachers.

Istituto Comprensivo Carducci – Vochieri – is a middle school in the center of Alessandria, Italy. Its 60-strong teaching staff provide education to 590 students. Because the school’s interior walls were in dire need of a refresh, the Municipality of Alessandria was asking for support.

Our colleagues in Cavallirio quickly responded. To maintain all the safety requirements, they worked with the Municipality to engage local contractors in the restyling and refreshing of this important city school, ahead of it reopening to students at the beginning of the school year.

Alex Jumps Into Working Out the Technical Details

Before all the work could start, the team sent in PPG technical specialist, Alex Franceschetti, for a site inspection and to examine the various surfaces in the school.

With his expertise and knowledge, he worked out which materials and colors should be used in which parts of the building. He also identified the correct cycle of painting—a crucial element in any project.

Alex values the many opportunities his role brings to improve his personal and technical skills and to engage with many different types of people.

I like getting to know people, to understand their psychology and how to interact with them.

Not only was this project an opportunity for learning in his field, but he was working with different people, and helping his community. So he jumped right in.

A “Golden Opportunity” to Support Learning With Color

Colors can affect mood and outlook. In a school, colors should be welcoming and warm, but should also stimulate attention and concentration. A recent PPG study discovered that most students and teachers found colorful rooms gave them a renewed sense of energy.

We chose PPG1183-6 Cherry Pink and PPG1204-6 Golden Opportunity. These colors truly ‘pop’, help to define spaces, and aid wayfinding.

These were complimented by PPG 1160-6 Chinese Porcelain (our 2020 Color of The Year) and PPG 1148-4 Colonial Aqua, which are ideal for stimulating concentration levels. The colors of the school’s branding were used in the entrance to create a sense of belonging for returning students.

9730 m2 Of Sustainable High-Performing Paint

Eco-friendly SIGMA COATINGS® Fresh Air, a matt paint based on renewable raw materials (which uses Indoor Air Technology to remove formaldehyde from indoor environments) was used on the ceilings and walls. Feature walls were painted with Sigmapearl Clean, an easy-to-clean matt paint.

Our goal was to use colors to make the school more beautiful, innovative and sustainable.

More than 2,100 liters of innovative Sigma Coatings products were used to cover the entire school: 30 classrooms, two labs, one conference room, all hallways. An astonishing 9730 m2 of surfaces!

PPG also donated additional coatings for the all the radiators and the swimming pool area.

“Perfect Cooperation” Sends a “Beacon of Hope”

Once they had completed the renovation and the new school year had started, there was a COVID-safe celebration. Guests included the principal of the school, the local mayor, representatives of the Municipality, and other crucially important team members of this significant project.

In the face of a global pandemic (and a big storm that hit the area in August), the Cavallirio team had “perfect cooperation” with the municipality and the school for an outstanding result.

We made it happen with the power of will and the determination and desire to move forward in spite of the circumstances.

The local mayor, Gianfranco Cuttica di Revigliasco, expressed his gratitude for PPG’s support.

After the difficulty of these past few months, this project is a beacon of hope to our students for a gradual return to a normal life.
Gianfranco Cuttica di Revigliasco

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