WE ❤️ DESIGN. Tours, exhibits, programs and events about Chicago architecture. Formerly the Chicago Architecture Foundation.
What color is urban? What color is privilege? What color is Englewood? The Color(ed) Theory project explored how color is part of veiled and often racist language used to describe whole parts of the city.
A custom palette of 8 colors, inspired by buildings and products that are frequent fixtures in most inner cities - Ultrasheen Hair Grease, Currency Exchange, Flamin’ Red Hots snacks, a Crown Royal Bag (pictured) - were applied to the exterior of soon-to-be demolished houses in order to highlight the pervasiveness of systemic neglect and vacancy that disproportionately affects Black neighborhoods on Chicago’s south side.
In many instances, these houses sat isolated for years, and became invisible in plain site; symbols for the false promise of the American dream. The project asked open-ended questions to the surrounding community about value, as a first step toward shifting societal narratives as well as individual/collective thinking about new futures.