Edited by Gareth Doherty
Color is a ubiquitous yet essential part of the city, creating and shaping urban form. Who can forget the whites of modernist Brasilia? The greens of historic Cairo? The rosy reds of Petra? The terracottas of South America’s shantytowns? The color cacophonies of Times Square and Shinjuku? Colors have a presence over and beyond the objects—buildings, spaces, billboards, artifacts, and people—that make up the city. Not only does color give meaning to cities, cities give meaning to color. Whether carefully coordinated, clashing, or an expression of materials, color is a powerful cultural, economic, and political force in cities. Yet discussions on the city do not usually focus much on color, perhaps because urban colors are too often understood as being beyond any one authority or taste, or are simply dismissed as cosmetic, naïve, or intangible. Volume 3 of New Geographies brings together artists and designers, anthropologists, geographers, historians, and philosophers with the aim of challenging the status quo and exploring the potency, the interaction, and the neglected design possibilities of color at the scale of the city.
Published by the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2011; available through Harvard University Press.