Guest Lecture Series

Fiona Mclachlan

Professor Fiona Mclachlan

Ethereal Material: Colour Strategies in Architecture

5pm, Thursday 1st December, Budden Lecture Theatre

Colour is rarely static - it shifts in its appearance, is dependent on light conditions and material surface, can be fugitive and ephemeral, and is frequently complex to define in terms of its role. This lecture explores the potential of colour to modify space and the way in which buildings are perceived. Colour plays a significant role in architecture – it affects the character, atmosphere, meaning, spatial understanding and hierarchy of architecture, and of place.  Whether material or applied, it can be used to tune and transform the way we perceive our surroundings. Yet specific strategies employed by architectural practices in relation to colour are rarely considered in texts, architects frequently use colour in an arbitrary manner and colour is seldom integral to the discourse in architecture schools.

The lecture will draw on current research, and specifically the recent book and exhibition, ‘Colour Strategies in Architecture’ - the product of a four-year international interdisciplinary research collaboration between the Haus der Farbe, Zurich and the University of Edinburgh. The aim is to enhance the understanding of the strategic use of colour within architectural design.

Fiona McLachlan is Professor of Architectural Practice at the University of Edinburgh. She is an architect and her research considers the inter-relationships between teaching, research and practice. She has written two books on colour in architecture (Colour in the Professional Palette, 2012, and Colour Strategies in Architecture, 2015.) She has her own practice, E & F McLachlan Architects, which has specialized in social housing.
The exhibition ‘Colour Strategies in Architecture’ runs at AA Exhibitions London from 12 November to 16th December 2016

photo: Urs Siegenthaler Zurich