Publications

In addition to my design practice, I write for peer-reviewed academic and industry journals, and present peer-reviewed papers at international and local conferences, seminars and public talks.

My articles are often included in the ‘Most Accessed’ in the leading journal on colour: COLOR RESEARCH & APPLICATION as per their website.  Academia.Edu lists me amongst the Top 2-3% and one of my articles went viral, attracting over 24,000 hits as per their website.

If you would like any of the following publications, please email: zena@zenaoconnor.com.au


Books, Book chapters, Peer-reviewed journal articles and Conference papers  

O’Connor, Z. (Due 2018). Colour, power and identity. In S. Street & A. Steinvall (Eds.) Cultural History of Color in the Modern Age. New York: Bloomsbury. More details here.

O’Connor, Z. (2016). Color Field Painting. In R. Luo (Editor) Encyclopedia of Color Science and Technology. New York: Springer, pp310-321. ISBN: 978-3-642-27851-8  Access chapter here.

O’Connor, Z. (2016). Color Harmony. In R. Luo (Editor) Encyclopedia of Color Science and Technology. New York: Springer, pp322-328. ISBN: 978-3-642-27851-8  Access chapter here.

O’Connor, Z. (2016). Color Psychology. In R. Luo (Editor) Encyclopedia of Color Science and Technology. New York: Springer, pp365-375. ISBN: 978-3-642-27851-8  Access the chapter here.

O’Connor, Z. (2016). Optical Art. In R. Luo (Editor) Encyclopedia of Color Science and Technology. New York: Springer, pp985-987. ISBN: 978-3-642-27851-8  Access the chapter here.

O’Connor, Z. (2016). Colour/contrast strategies to improve environmental visual literacy, Universal Design Symposium, ANZ Viaducts Event Centre, Auckland, NZ, 26 October 2016. Access the Symposium website here.

O’Connor, Z. (2015). Colour, contrast and Gestalt theories of perception: The impact in contemporary visual communications design. Color Research and Application, 40 (1), 85-92. Access the article here.

O’Connor, Z. (2015). Extreme plagiarism: The rise of the e-Idiot? The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education, 20 (1), 1-11. Access the article here.

O’Connor, Z. (2015). Colour psychology and colour therapy: Caveat emptor (eBook). Sydney: Design Research Associates. Available at Amazon here.

O’Connor, Z. (2015). Colour symbolism: Individual, cultural and universal (eBook). Sydney: Design Research Associates. Available at Amazon here.

O’Connor, Z. (2014). Elements and principles of design: Tools to identify, analyse and evaluate the visual (Chpt. 6). In A. Rourke and V. Rees (Eds.), Researching the visual: Demystifying “the picture that’s worth a thousand words” Champaign, IL: Common Ground Publishing (pp94-125). Available at Amazon here.

O’Connor, Z. (2014). Colour as code: Lingua franca or obscure dialect? (Chpt. 8). In A. Rourke and V. Rees (Eds.). Researching the visual: Demystifying “the picture that’s worth a thousand words” Champaign, IL: Common Ground Publishing (pp144-164). Available at Amazon here.

O’Connor, Z. (2013). Colour as catalyst: Using colour differentiation to enhance learning. In A. Rourke and V. Rees (Eds.) Building minds, forging bridges: Teaching in a visually littered world. Champaign, IL: Common Ground Publishing, pp43-70. Available at Amazon here.

O’Connor, Z. (2013). The Shillito Design School:  Australia’s link with the Bauhaus. The International Journal of Design in Society, 6 (3), 149-159. Access the article here.

Rourke, A.J. & O’Connor, Z. (2012). Threshold concepts: Overcoming the stumbling blocks to learning design history and colour theory in higher education. Design Principles and Practices: Annual Review, 6, 23-31. Access the article here.

Rourke, A. & O’Connor, Z. (2012). Effective use of visual materials in higher education. New York: Nova Science. Available from Amazon here.

O’Connor, Z. (2011). Façade colour and judgements about building size and congruity. Journal of Urban Design, 16 (3), 397-404. (ERA Rank A*). Access the article here.

O’Connor, Z. (2011). Colour psychology and colour therapy: Caveat emptor. Color Research and Application, 36 (3), 229-234.  Access the article here.

O’Connor, Z. (2011). Logo colour and differentiation: A new application of environmental colour mapping. Color Research and Application, 36 (1), 55-60. Access the article here.

Rourke, A. & O’Connor, Z. (2011). Visual teaching materials: The role of visual literacy and predominant learning modality. In M. L. Falese (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Education Research. New York: Nova Science, pp209-244. Available from Amazon here.

O’Connor (2011). Valuation of cultural heritage: Towards a conceptual model and potential evaluation strategies. In D. Mittleman & S. Augustin (Eds.) EDRA42: Annual Conference of the Environmental Design Research Assoc., Chicago (pp189-196).  EDRA website.

O’Connor, Z. (2010). Colour harmony revisited. Color Research and Application, 35 (4), 267-273. Access the paper  here.

Throsby, D., Deodhar, V., Hanna, B., O’Connor, Z. & Zednik, A. (2010). Measuring the economic and cultural values of historic heritage places. Environmental Economics Research Hub Research Reports, Number: 85, November 2010. Access the full paper here.

Rourke, A.J. & O’Connor, Z. (2010). Visual literacy levels and predominant learning modality among first year design students: The influence of teaching intervention. International Journal of Design Principles and Practice, 4 (1), 347-360. Access the full paper here.

Rourke, A. & O’Connor, Z. (2010). Improving Visual Teaching Materials. New York: Nova Science. Available via Amazon here.

Rourke, A. & O’Connor, Z. (2010). Examining ways to improve visual materials: The role of visual literacy and predominate learning modality. In M.L. Albertson (Ed.) Developments in Higher Education. New York: Nova Science, 1-37.  Available from Amazon here.

O’Connor (2010). Universal Design and retirement village environments in Sydney, Australia. In J. Bissell, M.Chapin, T. Rosenheck & M. Murtha (Eds.). EDRA41: Annual Conference of the Environmental Design Research Assoc., Washington (pp116-122). Acess EDRA website here.

O’Connor, Z. (2010). Black-listed: Why colour theory has a bad name in 21st century design education. ConnectED 2010: 2nd International Conference on Design Education, Sydney. Access full paper here.

O’Connor, Z. & Rourke, A.J. (2010). Making it relevant: Strategies to link design history and theory to contemporary design practice.  ConnectED 2010: 2nd International Conference on design education, Sydney. Access full paper here.

Throsby, D., Deodhar, V., Hanna, B., O’Connor, Z. & Zednik, A. (2010). Measuring the economic and cultural values of historic heritage places. Proceedings of the Economics and the Environment Network Symposium, Canberra, ACT, Australia, 22-24 November 2010.  Access the full paper here.

Rourke, A.J. & O’Connor, Z. (2010). The expectations-reality interface: Visual literacy, predominant learning modalities and preferences among first year design students. In J. Thomas (Ed.) 13th Pacific Rim First Year in Higher Education (FYHE) Conference, Griffith University, Brisbane.  Access full paper here.

O’Connor, Z. (2010). Colour psychology and colour therapy: Ancient knowledge or New Age nonsense? M. Kyrios (Chair) Scientific Program Committee, ICAP2010 27th International Congress of Applied Psychology, Melbourne, 11 to 16 July 2010. Conference program here.

O’Connor, Z. (2010). Facade colour and planning policy in Sydney: The need for paradigm change. In T. Rosenheck & M. Murtha (Co-chairs), EDRA 41: Annual Conference of the Environmental Design Research Association. Washington, USA; 2-6 June 2010. Access EDRA website here.

O’Connor, Z. (2009). Digital colour mapping. In T. Porter & B. Mikellides (Eds.), Colour for architecture today (2nd edition) London: Taylor & Francis, pp45-47.  Book available from Amazon here.

Rourke, A.J. & O’Connor, Z. (2009). Look before you leap: Testing some assumptions on visual literacy and predominant learning modalities of undergraduate design students in Australia and New Zealand. International Journal of Learning. 16 (8), 33-45. Access paper here.

Rourke, A.J. & O’Connor, Z. (2009). Investigating visual literacy levels and predominant learning modality among undergraduate design students in Australia: Preliminary findings. Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, 3 (2), 17-28. Access full paper here.

O’Connor, Z. (2009). Façade colour and judgements about building size. In D. Smith, P. Green-Armytage, M.A. Pope & N. Harkness (Eds.) AIC 2009: 11th Congress of the International Colour Association (CD-Rom), Sydney: AIC.  Download conference paper via AIC here.

Rourke, A.J. & O’Connor, Z. (2009). Recommendations for intervention in the visual domain: A study of undergraduate design students’ visual literacy and predominate learning style modalities. In R. Woodrow (Ed.) Interventions in the public domain: Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools. Griffith University, Brisbane. Access conference paper here.

Rourke, A.J. & O’Connor, Z. (2008). I can see it but I don’t understand it! Investigating visual literacy skills and learning styles in a higher education design history curriculum. International Journal of the Humanities, 6 (6), 19-26.  Access article here.

O’Connor, Z. (2007). Retiring gracefully? Older people and retirement village environments.  In J.Bissell (Ed.) EDRA38: Annual Conference of the Environmental Design Research Assoc., Sacramento. (pp41-45). Edmond, OK: EDRA. Access EDRA website here.

O’Connor, Z. (2006). Bridging the gap: Façade colour, aesthetic response and planning policy. Journal of Urban Design, 11(3), 335-345 (ERA rank A* and USYD Research Paper Prize).  Access article here.

O’Connor, Z. (2006). Environmental colour mapping using digital technology: A case study. Urban Design International, 11 (1), 21-28. (USYD Research Paper Prize).  Access article here.

O’Connor, Z. (2006). Happy campers? The interface between older people and retirement village environments.  In C. Shanley & T. Roberts (Eds.) Research informing positive outcomes in older persons: 5th National Conference of Emerging Researchers in Ageing (pp 152-155). Sydney: University of Sydney (USYD Research Paper prize).  Access USYD records here.

O’Connor, Z. (2006) From conflict to concord: façade colour and aesthetic response (Preliminary findings). In M.K. Chapin & A.N. Greenberg (Co-Chairs), EDRA37: Annual Conference of the Environmental Design Research Assoc., Atlanta, USA; 3-7 May 2006. Access EDRA website here.

O’Connor, Z. (2005) Environmental colour harmony & preference: A case for diversity? In B. Schermer (Chair), EDRA36: Annual Conference of the Environmental Design Research Assoc., Vancouver, Canada, 27 April -1 May 2005. Access EDRA website here.

O’Connor, Z. (2004). Environmental colour mapping using digital technology. In D. Miller & J.A. Wise (Eds.), EDRA35: Annual Conference of the Environmental Design Research Assoc., Albuquerque USA (pp 71-80). Edmond, OK EDRA.  Access EDRA website here.

O’Connor, Z. (2004). Concord v discord: A new approach to environmental colour.  In Spatial Environments Agreeable for Human Beings: Proceedings of the 6th Int.  Symposium for Environment-Behaviour Studies (pp 250-256). Tianjin, China: Baihua Literature & Art.

O’Connor, Z. (2003). Pixel perfect? Environmental colour mapping using digital technology. In S. Hayman (Ed.) Proceedings of the 37th Australian and New Zealand Architectural Science Association Conference (pp 686-716). Sydney Australia: University of Sydney.

Insight Reports and Articles – Industry/Consultancy  

O’Connor, Z. (2016). Insight research and report. Arts Health Institute, Sydney.

O’Connor, Z. (2015). Research report: Facade colour evaluation ‘Rockcliff Mansions’ apartments. Strata plan 9768, Sydney.

O’Connor, Z. (2015). Design psychology (Contributor). Aircraft Interiors International, March.

O’Connor, Z. (2014). Research report: Façade colour evaluation – 174 Evans Street, Rozelle. Tara Anderson and Robert Short.

O’Connor, Z. (2012). Insights report – Colour psychology and creative expression (Brand launch event). Porter Novelli, November 2012.

O’Connor, Z. (2009). Research report: Brand and logo colour mapping and analysis study. ING Communities Pty Ltd, October 2009.

O’Connor, Z. (2009). Insights report: NSW Central Coast area competitors – retirement villages and aged care facilities. Aevum Ltd, April 2008.

O’Connor, Z. (2008). Research report: New residents survey. Aevum Limited, March 2008.

O’Connor, Z. (2007). Insights report: Ashfield area competitor analysis of retirement village and aged care facilities. Aevum Limited, December 2007.

O’Connor, Z. (2007). Insights report: Milstern competitor analysis of retirement village and aged care facilities. Aevum Limited, September 2007.

O’Connor, Z. (2007). Insights report: Extra care aged facilities. Aevum Limited, October 2007.

O’Connor, Z. (2007). Insights report: Southern Highlands competitor analysis of retirement village and aged care facilities. Aevum Limited, June 2007.

O’Connor, Z. (2007). Insights reports: Competitor analysis of Cromer district and Northmead district retirement village and aged care facilities. Aevum Limited, April 2007.

O’Connor, Z. (2007). Post-occupancy evaluation and client survey of Port Macquarie retirement and aged care facilities. Aevum Limited, March 2007.

O’Connor, Z. (2006). Insights report: Competitor analysis of Western Sydney retirement village and aged care facilities. Aevum Limited, August 2006.

O’Connor, Z. (2006). Research report: Residents survey. Aevum Limited, May 2006.

O’Connor, Z. (2006). Research report: Façade colour analysis: Ensemble Theatre, January 2006.

O’Connor, Z. (2006). Research report: Post-occupancy evaluation and client survey at four Inner West (Sydney) retirement villages. Aevum Limited, June 2006.   

Public Forums, Invited Talks & seminars

O’Connor, Z. (2016). Colour in architecture: Beyond aesthetics. ArchitectureNOW and Resene Paints seminar series: 23 February (AAG Auditorium, Auckland Art Gallery); 24 February (Auditorium, Christchurch Art Gallery); 25 February (Auditorium, Museum of New Zealand, Wellington); 26 February (AAG Auditorium, Auckland). Access the presentation via Resene website here.

O’Connor, Z. (2015). Colour psychology: Caveat emptor. Colour Society of Australia, Sydney, August 2015.

O’Connor, Z. (2015). Almanac of the Everyday, Mel George, Sabbia Gallery, Sydney, July 2015.

O’Connor, Z. (2013). Evaluating colour in Rebecca Baumann’s ‘Automated Colour Field’ (2011) and Robert Owen’s ‘Sunrise #3’ (2005). Artists Voice series, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, July 2013.

O’Connor, Z. (2012). Music and colour: Exploring David Aspden’s works. Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, May 2012.

O’Connor, Z. (2010). Not through a glass, darkly. Colour forum with John Gage and David Briggs, ‘Paths to Abstraction’ exhibition, Art Gallery of NSW, August 2010.

O’Connor, Z. (2010). Colour theory and application. Olafur Eliasson’s ‘Take Your Time’ exhibition, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, February 2010.

Photography – Exhibitions and Social Media

O’Connor, Z. (2017).  Tree in winter (digital photograph). AddOn, a HeadOn Foundation group exhibition at Paddington Town Hall, 6 to 14 May 2017. AddOn exhibition details here.

O’Connor, Z. (2017). Design palettes on Instagram launched 11 March 2017: @design.palettes https://www.instagram.com/design.palettes/

O’Connor, Z. (2016). Cinema palettes on Instagram launched 8 October 2016: @cinema.palettes

O’Connor, Z. (2016). Red Petals (digital photograph). AddOn, a HeadOn Foundation group exhibition at Central on Broadway, Sydney, 30 April to 8 May 2016.

O’Connor, Z. (2016). Architectural photography, http://www.melissawardarchitect.com/work/#/surry-hills-cafe/

O’Connor, Z. (2016). Fashion/lifestyle photography, Blush & Bordeaux blog, Sydney. Check out the blog here.

O’Connor, Z. (2015). Stingrays (digital photograph). AddOn, a HeadOn Foundation group exhibition, Gallery 2, Danks Street, Sydney, 29 April to 9 May 2015.  Catalogue: ISBN 9780992507527.

O’Connor, Z. (2014). The Tourist (digital photograph). AddOn, a HeadOn Foundation group exhibition, Gallery 2, Danks Street, Sydney.

O’Connor, Z. (2013). Approaching Storm (digital photograph). AddOn, a HeadOn Foundation group exhibition, Depot II Danks Street, Sydney. Catalogue: ISBN 9780980363128.

O’Connor, Z. (2012). Cleito in Atlanta (digital photograph). AddOn, a HeadOn Foundation group exhibition, Mary Place Gallery, Paddington. Catalogue: ISBN 9780980363173.

PhD thesis & Master of Design thesis

O’Connor, Z. (2008). Façade colour and aesthetic response: Examining patterns of response within the context of urban design and planning policy in Sydney. University of Sydney. You can access the full thesis via the University of Sydney digital archive here.

O’Connor, Z. (1994). A review of the key design elements of direct marketing catalogues. Supervisor: Prof. David Denne, Head, Design School, University of Technology, Sydney.

Grants & Grant Applications

O’Connor, Z. (2010) ARC Discovery Project Application DP110102282: From speculation to theory: Investigating the interface between colour and human response.

University of NSW SoLt Research Grant 082014 (2008). An investigation into undergraduate student visual literacy skills and learning styles. Research program with Dr A.J. Rourke.

PhD thesis examiner & Journal review committee member

PhD candidate: Dominique Falla (2014), Griffith University, Queensland.

PhD candidate: Christopher Waller (2015), Monash University, Melbourne.

Occasional review committee member – Color Research and Application, International Journal of Design Principles and Practices, Urban Design International.