ST 2022 | Bluets

  abstract blue shape Copyright: © Anna Kerfers

“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)

In the course of the experimental M1 project "Bluets" we have dealt with the color blue in many different ways reading, philosophizing, designing, writing and describing.

To this end, we examined the homonymous autobiographical work of the American writer Maggie Nelson, in which she reflects on an episode of her life deeply connected to the blue in the form of 240 miniature propositions. The aim was to distill a highly personal architecture for the protagonist from the quite poetic text and to justify it, in the sense of a scientifically and literarily motivated design. The following questions interested us: How "spatial" are Nelson's bluets? And in general: What is a biographical architecture? Where might it be located in this case? What role do colors play, in particular: The blue? How much blue is possible, and at what point is it too much of a blue? In other words: how fascinating, how tolerable is the monochrome?

Anna Kerfers locates the house for Maggie Nelson on the flat roof of a theater in downtown Los Angeles and creates with for her an architecture of retreat in the midst of the pulsating city. She derives this initially paradoxical concept directly from the text: "...theatres offered people what they were missing in their everyday lives: religion, comfort, art and, above all, a sense of meaning...", "...I steer my car through the forest of gargantuan billboards, ghostly palm trees, and light-flattened boulevards that have become my life...", "People pass by - coming into view and disappearing again. They all walk past me, under me." Anna Kerfers also derives the actual rooms and spatial details from Nelson's propositions.

In the assignment, it was deliberately decided to refrain from creating perspectives. Instead, the aim was to convey space, haptics, and atmosphere in the form of three dioramas and with the help of self-made artifacts.



Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Anke Naujokat
Dipl.-Ing. Architektin Verena Hake