Høgh-Mikkelsen / Archive of Beautiful Colours

Archive of Beautiful Colours or When the Doctrine was Overthrown by Lived Experience and Love

Author: Maria Høgh-Mikkelsen, Design School Kolding; Aarhus School of Architecture

Supervisor: Eva Brandt, Design School Kolding; Claus Peder Pedersen, Aarhus School of Architecture

Research stage: PhD student, intermediate stage

Category: Artefact


With this contribution to CA2RE Aarhus 2023, I present the ’Archive of Beautiful Colours’ which was created as part of an experiment on personal colour preferences in the PhD project: Exploring an experimental and material-based colour design practice. The purpose of the archive is to bring to light the diversity of colour preferences and hence the possible absurdity of trying to define an objective colour harmony as has been attempted by for example Johannes Itten. The archive does not attempt to ‘objectively verify’ the previous artistic work of the experiment ‘Personal Colour’, but aims to magnify the impact of personal colour preferences and transform subjectivity to inter-subjectivity. The archive is presented by a short autoethnographic text unpicking one of the mythologies of colour harmony.

Keywords: Colour Theory, Colour Harmony, Constructive Design Research, Autoethnographic Method, Inter-Subjectivity