Bernd Upmeyer contributed a piece entitled “Shades of Grey” to the Saturated Space Research Cluster at London’s Architectural Association. The article celebrates the colour of grey as one of the most relevant colours of today because of its symbolic power to represent diversity. The text reveals how the colour grey is never simply grey, but can be read as hiding colours beneath layers and veils. It furthermore shows how grey can be, despite its bad reputation, sparkly, distinct, eye-catching, exceptional, and a symbol of life, evoking the idea of the entire chromatic spectrum in the viewer’s imagination. To illustrate where and how these neglected qualities of grey occur the text provides examples from the field of graphic design with a focus on grey layouts; from architecture by pointing out the contemporary blurry greyness of the internet as a medium of display; and from urbanism where extreme-commuters live increasingly transnational and grey urban lifestyles.

Shades of Grey
By Bernd Upmeyer

One of the most fascinating aspects about colours, whether in graphic design, architecture, or urbanism, may be found in their symbolic power and in what they are able to represent. In terms of symbolism, in my opinion, the most relevant colour of today, as well as in the future, can only be one hue: GREY. Why? Because despite being one of the least popular colours and despite its bad reputation as the colour of conformity, a colour without any personality of its own, associated with boredom, solitude, emptiness, pain, guilt, misery, and death, it represents most of all: DIVERSITY… read the entire article in Writings.

Title: Saturated Space
Contribution: Shades of Grey
Author: Bernd Upmeyer
Date: September 2014
Publisher: Saturated Space Research Cluster at
London’s Architectural Association
Location: London, UK
Pages: 8