Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Architecture and Landscape Architecture

Undergraduate Course: On Colour in Architecture (ARCH10029)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryColour is an essential factor in the perception of space. Through this course, you will develop a basic understanding of the principles of colour theory, the most common colour specification and navigation tools used in architecture, and an intellectual framework with which you may then approach their own investigation in order to develop a deeper understanding of a focused project theme. This is a self-directed course, and is not intended to be prescriptive in any way. On the contrary, the nature of the individual investigation is promoted as a means of developing a reflective process of experimentation and critical review.
Course description The programme of study will offer foundational lectures and presentations, critical analysis of student authored briefs and bespoke tuition to enable the evolution of individual themes of enquiry. It is envisaged that you will acquire core knowledge and tools for independent research undertaken through the processes of experimentation and fabrication in new and familiar media.

The course concentrates on developing a portfolio of work, which is clearly structured and articulated in a method appropriate to the proposed theme of study. The first three weeks will comprise an introduction to colour in architecture, through thematic seminars, group workshops and group tutorials, followed by largely self-directed study. You will be expected to research and develop your understanding of colour theory, design and application through small group working in the first weeks to share information and to provide a group for support and discussion. There will be two critical reviews of the work where you will present your work. The majority of student learning will be spent in individual research and investigation. You will be expected to read key literature and to maintain your reading throughout the study period. The focus of the course will be on colour design for architecture.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Architectural Design: Any Place (ARCH08006)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements This course is only available to Year 4 MA Architecture students.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  12
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 5, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 7, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 6, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 14, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 164 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The portfolio will document the project outline, methodology, process of investigation, articulate the findings and include a written critical reflection. The portfolio may be of mixed media work, models, drawings, paintings, installations. The assessment criteria for the course is the demonstration of achieving the requirements described in the learning outcomes, in relation to the specific themes, topics and problems as set out in the course handbook. «br /»
«br /»
Your final grade for this course is based entirely on your portfolio submission at the end of the semester. The portfolio is based on all learning outcomes that are weighted equally.
Feedback There will be two opportunities for formative feedback, through critical review and individually in writing
1- Following submission of the Stage 1 project proposal and review (week 4)
2- Following submission of the Stage 2 initial investigations and review (week 7)

Summative feedback will be provided following submission of the final portfolio and assessment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Research and develop a project proposal and produce a sustained body of work that is analytical, structured and using methods appropriate to the area of study.
  2. Demonstrate a thorough knowledge and understanding of colour within a defined area of study.
  3. Communicate the aims, method, findings and conclusions through a carefully considered and crafted portfolio of work.
Reading List
Albers, Josef Interaction of Colour, New Haven and London : Yale University Press, 1963 (revised 2006)
Anter, K., and Klarén, U. Colour and Light
Batchelor, David. Chromophobia. London : Reaktion Books, 2000
Buether, A., Colour (Detail Practice), Munich: Edition Detail 2014
Gage, John, Colour and Meaning: Art Science and Symbolism, London:University of California Press / London: Thames and Hudson, 2000
Itten, Johannes, The Art of Color: The Subjective Experience and Objective Rationale of Color, New York:Reinhold Publications Co., 1961
Jarman, Derek, Chroma, Vintage: London, 1995
Mahnke, Frank H. Color, Environment and Human Response: An interdisciplinary understanding of colour and its use as a beneficial element in the design of the architectural environment. London:John Wiley and Sons, 1996
McLachlan, F. Architectural Colour in the Professional Palette, Oxon: Routledge, 2012
McLachlan, F. Neser, A., Sibillano, L., Wenger di Gabriele, M., Wettstein, S. Colour Strategies in Architecture, Basel: Schwabe, 2015
Meerwein, Gerhard, Rodeck Bettina, Mahnke, Frank, Color & Communication in Architectural Space, Basel:Birkhäuser, 2007
Porter, T. and Mikellides, B (eds.) Colour for Architecture Today, Oxon and New York: Taylor & Francis, 2009
Serra, J., Color for Architects, New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2019
Swirnoff, L. Dimensional Color, New York: WW Norton, 2003
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Ability to plan and undertake research and to identify and employ appropriate methods in response to a specified research question.
Ability to produce reflective documentation recording an investigative process.
Ability to deploy a range of graphic, artistic, writing and photographic skills for investigation and communication of a specific topic.
Ability to undertake a reflective practice through a series of largely self-directed investigations .
Course organiserProf Fiona McLachlan
Tel: (0131 6)50 2304
Course secretaryMr Brendan Sweeney
Tel: (0131 6)50 6329
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information