B4 | Twelve Weeks of Blue

  The Queen of the Night under a blue canopy of stars, stage design for Mozart's "Magic Flute" by K. F. Schinkel © Public Domain  

"Try, if you can, not to talk as if colors emanated from a single physical phenomenon. Keep in mind the effects of all the various surfaces, volumes, light-sources, films, expanses, degrees of solidity, solubility, temperature, elasticity, on color. Think of an object's capacity to emit, reflect, absorb, transmit, or scatter light; think of 'the operation of light on a feather'. Ask yourself, what is the color of a puddle?" (Maggie Nelson, Bluets)

Within the B4 project "Twelve Weeks of Blue" we will explore the color of blue in many different ways – such as reading, philosophizing, experimenting, collecting, designing, describing and maybe even in the way of writing.

To do so, we will examine the autobiographical work "Bluets" by the American writer Maggie Nelson, creating 240 miniature propositions to reflect on an episode of her life deeply connected to the color of blue. We will attempt to distill a highly personal architecture for the protagonist by reading her poetic text through an architect's eye. By doing so, we will be able to "substantiate" our design decisions – quite in the sense of a scientifically-literarily motivated design process.

The following questions will be of interest to us: How "spatial" are Nelson's bluets? Which role does color play in architecture, in particular: The color of blue? How much of blue is possible, and at what point is it too much? In other words: how fascinating, how tolerable is the monochrome? And in general: What is biographical architecture?



B4 | Bachelor's Thesis
B. Sc. | 6th semester


Kick-off: Friday, November 3, 2023, 3pm
Supervisions: Tuesdays, usually from 9am to 1pm
Intermediate crit 1: Tuesday, November 28, 2023
Intermediate crit 2: Tuesday, December 19, 2023
Intermediate crit 3: Tuesday, January 16, 2024
Submission: Friday, February 2rd, 2023

Further Information

Participating students should have a strong interest in conceptual design and of course! in literature. Feel free to start reading: Maggie Nelson, Bluets, London 2017 respectively Berlin 2018. We recommend to work with the English edition; but you can find both editions in our library in the reference section of the research project "Blue Architecture". By the way: We work with agile tools and methods. If you have any questions, is looking forward to hearing from you.


Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Anke Naujokat (Examination)
Prof. Dr. Carolin Stapenhorst (Co-Examination, FH Aachen)
Dipl.-Ing. Architektin Verena Hake
Tim Scheuer, M. Sc. RWTH Architekt (Guest critics)