Color Studio

Advanced Architecture Studio 6

Spring 2013

Leslie Gill + Mike Jacobs, critics, with Carson Smuts

Color exists in itself. – Henry Matisse
Color cannot stand alone. – Wassily Kandinsky
Color is suited to simple races, peasants and savages. – Le Corbusier
Color is a concrete expression of a maximum difference within identity. – Adrian Stokes

The study of color is a tricky endeavor that breeds contradictory and didactic opinions. Yet, color has maintained a central role in cultural discourse, continuously evolving, understood through new technologies, altered by production capabilities and responding to pertinent questions of the day. David Batchelor has argued that the Western world is currently chromophobic: “it manifests itself in the many and varied attempts to purge color from culture, to devalue color, to diminish its significance, to deny its complexity”

This studio investigated three parallel trajectories of color; the symbolic, the measureable and the perceptual, in order to initiate strategies to design. These strategies were, in turn, situated, developed and tested within the tangible constraints of three monochromatic landscapes of the Arctic: the boreal forest (green), fresh and salt water (blue) and the cryosphere (white).

Students were asked to design two structures in two sites: The first, an Arctic-based data collection outpost, designed to support the research of our increasingly fragile ecosystem; The second, a local “Habitat Preserve” an Archive and Museum designed with the mandate to preserve in miniature, increasingly threatened Artic landscapes. Part scientific archive, part visual spectacle, the Habitat Preserve considered all key stakeholders—Human, Animal, Mineral and Plant—in an effort to effectively lobby for, and protect the biodiversity of this globally significant eco-region for future generations.

Joseph Brennan A/B/C
Tanya Gershon D/E/F