I am at the Santa Fe Institute, about which more perhaps some other time.
The photo in the bottom panel above is a more or less typical Santa Fe house. They are all adobe-colored by law (no longer made of mud and straw but of a similar color on the surface), biomorphically round-edged, Gaudi-esque almost, matching the color of the desert soil so that they blend.
The photo in the upper panel at left is of houses in Morocco, which is also largely desert, but many of the houses are blue. Is this a choice to contrast with the desert or blend with the sky? I don’t know. I think it may have some religious significance.
The photo in the upper panel on the right is of houses on the coast of Norway, where they sometimes paint them brightly, but it’s a sad kind of brightness, somehow blending with the sea and cloudy sky.