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The Colour Strategies exhibition was on display in the Lighthouse in Glasgow, Feb - Apr 2016
Image courtesy of Fiona McLachlan

A new exhibition, based on a collaborative publication co-written by the Professor of Architectural Practice at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA), has opened at the Architectural Association (AA) School of Architecture in London. Professor Fiona McLachlan co-authored Colour Strategies in Architecture with AnneMarie Nesser, Marcella Wenger-Di Gabriele, Stefanie Wettstein, and Lino Sibillano, which was published in July 2015. It explores the potential of colour to modify space and the way in which buildings are perceived, and was the result of a four-year interdisciplinary research collaboration between University of Edinburgh and Haus der Farbe in Zurich.

The exhibition, which is open in the AA School of Architecture from 12th Nov – 16th Dec 2016, is one of the products of this collaboration. It was previously held in the Glasgow Lighthouse (Feb – Apr 2016) and in Edinburgh College of Art’s Matthew Gallery (Oct – Nov 2015).

During the research project, over 350 colours were replicated in hand-mixed and hand-painted samples. These are presented through abstracted ‘building portraits’ that show the proportion, palette and use of colour on specific buildings, and ‘visualisations’ that aim to communicate possible alternatives for a strategic use of colour in architecture.

Fiona also opened a Colour Strategies symposium which will be held in the AA School during November, organised by Antoni Malinowski and the Saturated Space research group.

Fiona McLachlan's talk during Saturated Space VIII, held at the AA School of Architecture on 11 November 2016.

Colour in contemporary architecture is one of Fiona McLachlan’s major research interests. In 2009, she spent six months conducting interviews on the subject with contemporary architects in Zürich, Berlin, Amsterdam, London and Dublin, leading to the publication of the book, Architectural Colour in the Professional Palette (Routledge, 2012).

Fiona is also a Principal investigator (PI) on a multi-disciplinary scoping study about colour teaching across the University of Edinburgh and other UK institutions. Spanning the Schools of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, History of Art, and Art, the Colour Collection project also involves PIs Gordon Brennan and Dr Heather Pulliam.

The Colour Strategies in Architecture exhibition takes place in the Front Members’ Room at the AA School of Architecture, 12th November – 16th December 2016.

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Photo of the authors of Colour Strategies in Architecture
Fiona (third from left) and her Colour Strategies in Architecture co-authors
Iain Boyd Whyte (second from left) wrote the book's foreword