Work > Color(ed) Theory Series

Color(ed) Theory was a multiyear project that explored how academic and theoretical definitions of color map across veiled language used in American media/popular culture to describe racially charged city spaces. What color is urban? What color is gentrification? What color is privilege? I (along with friends and family) covertly painted empty houses in and around Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood that were slated by the City for demolition. I developed a unique, culturally coded, monochromatic color palette based on hues primarily found in consumer products marketed toward Black people along commercial corridors on Chicago’s South Side. The project emphasized how colors have socially constructed associations that are inextricably linked to the politics of race and class in America. This palette combined my Ivy League academic training as an architect with my lived sensibility as a South Side native. I’m interested in system that imagines artful ways to construct new narratives about zero value landscapes; allowing them to shed an identity of victim and embrace instead the role of active protagonist.