Sunday 9 September 2012

Dialects of Colour

^Staircase in Le Corbusier's Weißenhof Estate House, Stuttgart

Please click on the link below for a text by Lucy Moroney arguing for a more nuanced approach to the relationship between colour and the perception of space and form. Moroney brings together Wittgenstein's linguistic analyses of colour concepts, with Oliver Sacks' case study of a painter who had become colour blind, and a complex double analysis of one project by Le Corbusier, and one by Jim Stirling, to approach the topic with fresh eyes. Following description by Moroney:

How can colour become a constructor of space? By challenging the notion of colour being more than a simple reduction of tones equating to a psychological reaction. How do we distil the notion of an intangible, dynamic system of physicality and perception? Rather than looking at how light can create colour, perhaps we can view colour as a device to distort and construct. 

I set out to examine and contrast James Stirling’s B.Braun Factory in Melsungen, Germany to Le Corbusier’s house interior in the Weißenhof Estate, Stuttgart. These two figures have a wildly different approach to the use of colour. Le Corbusier treats his interior space as a painting composition, which can be broken down to an image and reapplied to space, whereas Stirling’s application of colour becomes a way to systematise the workings of a factory, and has incidentally become something more. The strong tones of the building contrast with the surrounding colours, the building consequently visually recedes into the landscape. Each begins to give us clues in how we can start to manifest colour as a spatial language.

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