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The Nothing That Consumes How Battleship Gray Changed Design Margaret McCormick There was a change that happened in design over the past century, one that was so slow and subtle it seemed inconsequential, that is until it wasn’t. Leisurely, accidentally, the world changed from black and white to gray: “Battleship Gray” to be specific. More than from securing itself as #DDDDDD1 in the digital realm, this colour has become the backdrop of perception, affecting architecture and indeed all design in an insidious though not necessarily intentionally malicious way. This colour is, in its mere hue, the lack of definition, description and sentience: accepted as fact, without question or consequence. Now memories of the never­was, the dull purgatory while we wait for death and the fearful, hopeful possibilities of tomorrow are all wrapped up into one painfully boring colour. Plus, it’s on sale if you buy in bulk. Elements of the Past and Future, Combining to Make Something Not Quite As Good As Either

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The “Battleship” part of Battleship Grey comes from, somewhat predictably, early 20th century changes in Naval Engineering. In 1907, the “Great White Fleet” (a collection of five United States Connecticut Class war ships) left from Hampton Roads, Virginia on a worldwide cruise intended to demonstrate their mobility, speed and power.3 It was saber­rattling to say least and was most definitely an attempt to establish the US

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colour code information, schemes, description and conversion in RGB, HSL, HSV, CMYK, etc Image Courtsey of Government Book Talk.Gov Norman Carter, colour Postcard 3” x 5” Archives of Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington DC. Available from Government Book Talk Blog http://govbooktalk.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/uss­fleet­sydney.jpg (accessed November 7th 2013) 3 Robert A. Hart, The Great White Fleet: It’s Voyage Around the World, 1907­1909 (New York: Little, Brown 1965) pages 27­50 2


as the main power in the Western Atlantic, if not a contender for total dominance. Yet by the time the ships returned in 1909, they had become, almost like JMW Turner’s The Fighting Temeraire,4 a source of both pride and pity. Much to the frustration of the US Navy, these expensive technological wonders had become old hat in less than three years. For while the “Great Whites” had been strutting in exotic waters, the sixth and final Connecticut Class ship, the USS New Hampshire, (the only one that did not join the original tour)5 was being outfitted to match the latest in naval power, the HMS Dreadnought. Aside from the Dreadnought’s most noticeable addition of massive new guns, there was another factor to its deadly superiority: the paint colour. Camouflage to the tone of a vague, unidentifiable kind of gray. Prior to the Dreadnought, the standard colour of all naval vessels in peacetime had been white.6 The clinical precision of white had served the navy well thus far: cleaning it was a way to keep sailors busy and it also assured that the vessel would be spotted if it ever ran afoul. Yet visual presence for safety reasons became virtually obsolete with the invention of trans­atlantic communication in 19017, followed soon after by the development of radar technology in 1904 (originally called the telemobiloscope). 8 9 War had entered into a new age and in its wake, admirals, engineers and politicians were trying to figure out exactly what that meant. Then without pomp or ceremony it was decided that everyone should just hide in plain sight.

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Simon Schama, The Power of Art (New York: Ecco Publishing, 2006) (Turner Section) Navy Military History of the United States (official website) “Military History Frequently Asked Questions” History.Navy.Mil http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq42­1.htm (accessed Nov 7th, 2013) 6 William Generous, Sweet Pea at War, A History of the USS Portland (Lexington, KY: The University Press of Kentucky 2005), page 34 7 Jill Hills, The Struggle for Control of Global Communication: The Formative Century(Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press 2002) page 100­120 8 Neil Morris, From Fail to Win: Learning from Bad Ideas, Gadgets and Inventions,(Oxford: Raintree Press 2011) page 34 9 Additionally the fledgling idea of using airplanes for military purposes was becoming increasingly popular. This was, however a much more important factor in WWII than it had been in WWI. 10 Image Courtsey of CityofArt.net 5


With the development of this paint, the HMS Dreadnought marked the beginning of the end for showmanship in western military design. 11 “Battleship Gray” as it was soon known, was specifically engineered to be the hue somewhere between sea and sky, avoiding enemy attack by blending into the horizon. It would have been a perfect plan, if the other side didn’t eventually get radar also. Despite this, the purchase of Battleship Gray paint by the Royal and US Navies was considered to be the largest order in the entire paint industry, particularly during World War II.12 By 1944 US manufacturers were constructing at least one ship per day and a new airplane every five minutes, all of them needing one particular kind of paint13 . Further, the product had a shelf­life of only two years, so the dressing of war was an incredibly lucrative, and for the meantime, secure business. 14 15 Though upon the conclusion of the World Wars, the respective governments found themselves with a surplus of, among other things, gray paint. This left­over was particularly worrisome as all new military development would replace paint with new, more rust­resistant coating techniques (albiet in the same colour). 16 So the powers that be were saddled with a product that was: 1) designed specifically for military readiness and not aesthetic likeability 2) an inexcusable waste of public funding unless another use could be found Then in a movement of ingenious improvisation, Battleship Gray somehow found itself as the premier colour of reconstruction and public bureaucracy in the post­war west.17 Everybody Just Waiting, Waiting to Wait. And so Battleship Gray settled into a comfortable civilian life. Like so many veterans, it found itself in the public sector, most notably as the wall colour of utility spaces, sundry equipment sheds and various other gloomy but necessary waiting rooms.18 19 It was an easy and simple solution of making publicly­owned property seem nice, but not too nice. Useful. Like a spinster Aunt or a hammer. Yet by displacing the colour into an environment it was not designed for, the result was almost existential in its affect and general public perception. For example, in the context of the Waiting Room, Battleship Gray ignites two equal, partially opposing reactions: firstly, it goes unnoticed, the sea and sky acting as the unconscious mind (with all the literature references that can be tolerated). Secondly, it is a promise of eventual explosion or inevitable obsolescence. It is the colour of foreshadowing, benign yet passively threatening: a dream deferred or a dream denied20. That vague dread it inspires, which never seems to go Larry Nielson, colour image. Available from CityofArt.net http://www.cityofart.net/bship/dreadnought.html (accessed Nov 7th 2013) 11 This is with the exception of logo design which was prevalent on aircrafts, and is still a major part of military design today. 12 R.J Daniel The End of an Era (Penzance, UK: Periscope Publishing Ltd 2004), Page 177. 13 John Green “World War II: Part II The Homefront Crash Course US History #36 , CrashCourse Video Nov 1, 2013 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HofnGQwPgqs (Accessed Nov 7th, 2013) 14 Even more so when it was determined that the air force was to use the same paint on aircrafts. Jil Carson, Skirts of Navy Blue: A Memoir of World War II,(Bloomington IN: iUniverse Publishing 2012) page 127­130 15 R.J Daniel The End of an Era (Penzance, UK: Periscope Publishing Ltd 2004), Page 177. 16 R.J Daniel The End of an Era (Penzance, UK: Periscope Publishing Ltd 2004), Page 180­185 17 R.J Daniel The End of an Era (Penzance, UK: Periscope Publishing Ltd 2004), Page 180­185 18 In the UK, much of the paint was bought by the rail industry, which may explain its use in train stations and public transport. One might also note the colour of the Jubilee Line on London Underground Maps. 19 R.J Daniel The End of an Era (Penzance, UK: Periscope Publishing Ltd 2004), Page 180­185 20 Langston Hughes, Montage of a Dream Deferred (New York: Holt Publishing 1951) page 72


away and is generated from pure nothingness, results in copious anxiety. It is the daily fear without apparent violence that causes weight gain, baldness and a general desire for a small pill to alter moods. Though Battleship Gray’s practical use turned philosophical crisis did not go wholly unnoticed in the post­war. Artists such as George Tooker and Edward Hopper, 21 made a comment on the colour as the impetus of the dreamlike trance of modern life (particularly by their respective works of “Subway” (1950) and “Office in a Small City” (1953)). The prevalent use of Battleship Gray in their work can be seen as the counterpoint to statements about the world becomes faster, stronger, better.

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Whereas an earlier Victorian reaction to modernity might be horror followed by attempt to return (though broken­heartedly) to an idealised past, Post­war artists like Hopper and Tooker used Battleship Gray to argue that the speed of work and transportation just left more time to fall into an empty mundane 21

Henry Geldzahler, Met Museum of Art, American Painting in the 20th Century (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art Press 1965), page 160 (Tooker), 76­80 (Hopper) 22 Image Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art Website. Edward Hopper, Office in A Small City Paint on Canvas 28” x 40” Archives of the Metroplitan Museum of Art, New York City, Available in online gallery http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works­of­art/53.183 (accessed Nov 7th, 2013) 23 Image Courtesy of the Whitney Museum of Art Website. George Tooker The Subway, 1950. Egg tempera on composition board, 18 1/8 × 36 1/8 in Archives of the Whitney Museum of Art, New York City, Available in online gallery http://whitney.org/ForKids/Collection/GeorgeTooker (accessed Nov 7th, 2013)


acceptance. The surreal quality becoming eerie, worrisome and yet, still, somehow, really boring. Eventually Battleship Gray, and indeed all gray, became synonymous with dissatisfaction at a cushy life, an accessory to suburban depression perhaps best summarized in Richard Yates’ novel Revolutionary Road. “How small and neat and comically serious the other men looked with their gray­flecked crew­cuts, and their button­down collars, and their brisk little hurrying feet! There were endless, desperate swarms of them, hurrying through the station and the streets, and an hour from now they would all be still.”24 Battleship Gray served as a reminder that nobody cared enough about the space to make it any colour than the free one.25 And it remained so in the public consciousness for decades. That is until it became a tongue­in­cheek way of sticking it to the establishment: the ultimate in enveivatable acceptance was going rogue. Oh Moon, Grow Bright, And Make This Endless Day, Endless Night. While the “low brow” mid­century spaces of modern life were finding a way to deal with the sudden gray that had been embedded upon them, much of “high brow” architecture was still, for the most part, formally interested in the dichotomy between white and black. Though Le Corbusier himself had since abandoned the ship aesthetic for the roughness and colour of the baton brut, many architects had stood by his 1922 proclamation that: “There is but one colour, White: a force that is certain because it is absolute.”26 Or his statement in When the Cathedrals were White (1937) that “When Cathedrals were white, the spirit was triumphant. But today the Cathedrals are black and the spirit is bruised.”27 The young Le Corbusier deeming that white is the colour of purity, innocence, youth and wisdom: a new beginning based on old tradition. Black, serving as the antithesis, is a past riddled with superstition and uncertainty, war, death, and withered expectation.28 In this mindset, gray is not really worth discussing, neither something to aspire to nor something to fight against. The architectural obsession with white continued even until the 1970s when architects such as the New York Five began to push the limits of the colour in space. However there were some detractors: almost as a formalist response to a formalist argument, Robert Venturi and a number of other architects (including Charles Moore, and recent convert Philip Johnson) soon referred to as “The Grays” rejected the black and white world to embrace the uncertainty of gray, for Venturi specifically in 1972 when he completed the Trubek­Wislocki House, described as:

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Richard Yates, Revolutionary Road (New York: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2008)­ Page 119 It is also noticeable in the 2009 film version of Revolutionary Road, the colour pacing is housed in a slightly cool, bright light that is not entirely unfamiliar to Battleship Gray Revolutionary Road, directed by Sam Mendes (2008; Los Angeles, CA: Paramount Home Video, 2009), DVD 26 Le Corbusier, trans. by John Goodman, Toward an Architecture (Los Angeles: Getty Publishing 2007), Page 201 ­ in reference to a specific church in Byzantium Rome. 27 Le Corbusier, trans by Francis Edwin Hyslop, When Cathedrals Were White: A Journey to the Country of Timid People (London: Routledge, 1947) Chapter: Necessity for Communal Plans and Enterprises, pages 135­151. Also referenced in Heidi Nast & Steve Pile (editors), Architectural Theory: A Reader in Philosophy and Culture (London: Routledge, 1998) 81­168 & page 224 28 Some authors have argued that this is a side­effect of racism. Heidi Nast & Steve Pile (editors), Architectural Theory: A Reader in Philosophy and Culture (London: Routledge, 1998) 81­168 & page 224 25


“weathered gray to mold into the gray­green foliage and soft blue seascape” 29

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Battleship Gray had once again emerged from somewhere between the sea and sky, but this time as guide to finding significance in the kitchy and cliche aspects of a consumptive society. Sure, it was a military grade colour, one that was slapped on in excess, but in that sense its symbolic meaning was arguably far more experiential, accessible and empathetic than a purity which needs to be constantly maintained to be considered righteous or even “good”. In this way, the Grays made the colour a metaphor for moral relativism: right and wrong not being as important as context. The main dogma coming off as: “we don’t really want a dogma”. Providing colour­commentary on the debate was Robert A.M. Stern, who argued that white had indeed once been a colour of edgy freedom but had since been overrun with rules.31 Stern would go on to foster the White/Gray debate even through the 1980s when architectural discourse was unalterably changed by the widespread implementation of computer­aided design.32 Battleship Gray at this time, was a “Post­modernist’s” (a label recently applied by Charles Jencks33) dream colour: unsophisticated, plain, instantly identifiable, a reminder of the past. Through this it became the foundation of memory, absurdity and ambivalence. Though from the perspective of almost 50 years on, the debate between the “Whites” and “Grays” seems like the “Sharks” and “Jets” from West Side Story. The discourse coming off less like an intense intellectual

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Stephen Prokopoff. Venturi, Rauch and Scott Brown: A Generation of Architecture (Champaign, IL: Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois, 1984) p23. 30 Image Courtesy of Architects List.com. “Venturi Scott Brown and Associaties” Architectslist.com http://architectslist.com/cities/Philadelphia/firms/142­Venturi­Scott­Brown­and­Associates/projects/375­TRUBEK­WISLOCKI­HOU SES (accessed Nov 9th, 2013) ­ Second Gray pairing by Author. 31 Robert Stern (commentary) “Five on Five” Architectural Forum, May 1973 46­57 32 The only main figure who seemed to be indifferent to the debate was Colin Rowe (the man who was almost certainly the cause of American architects’ enchantment with Le Corbusier as well as inspiring radical and somewhat bizarre urban planning via “Collage City”) who seemed to be more interested in playing one side against the other than actually joining in. For Rowe, it was an intellectual game, for others it was doctrine. 33 Kate Nesbitt (editor), Theorizing a New Agenda for Architecture: An Anthology of Architectural Theory 1965­1995 (Princeton MA: Princeton Architectural Press) page 27 in reference to The Language of Post­Modern Architecture (published in 1977)


clashing of manifestoes and more like an esoteric difference between closed world philosophies. 34 And even though Robert Venturi and Peter Eisenman never did get around to recording a soulful duet of “Somewhere” at the any of the Venice Biennales (to the best of any archivist’s knowledge that is) there was indeed, “a place for us” ­ it had just gone digital.

Into the Cloud When Microsoft released Windows 3.0 in 1990 it was not the most aesthetic of operating systems but it was a vast improvement from the previous Windows 2.03 which, particularly now, seems almost like an assault on the eyes more than anything else. In 3.0 the background colour (with limited individual user options) was changed not only to re­brand the product but to improve the experience: a colour that would end the complaints of headaches and fatigue, a colour that would truly be a background: Battleship Gray.

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However, Microsoft was not the first to use Battleship Gray in this manner. In 1983/84 Macintosh released the Apple Lisa, a solid brick of a product presumably named after Steve Jobs’ daughter,36 arguably the earliest example of the Battleship Gray background. It was to be default setting for Macintosh until the release of the Mac OS 9.0 in 1999. For Windows, the Battleship Gray colour scheme continued as the default aesthetic base to the reboot, 3.1x (in 1993) and then as the main information box, start menu and tab colour until 2001 when the system changed to Windows XP. 37 Somewhere along the lines both major computer developers realized that the blandness and banality of this colour was less painful to look at for extended periods of time than pure white or an aggressive shade of teal. In this way computer development ignored the design debate of white vs. gray in favor of a more practical methodology. It became like the hum of a fluorescent light, an element which would become less noticeable over time (ultimately proving Tooker and Hopper correct). Though Battleship Gray was chosen not because it was a way of being either part of the establishment or ironically against it, it was chosen because it worked. 34

For example, both the Vana Venturi House (Venturi) and House VI (Eisenmann) were designed to be physical examples of philosophical understandings rather than an actual pleasurable experience. 35 Images Courtesy of ComputerHovel.com and GuidebookGallery.org, respectively. “Windows Evolution” ComputerHovel.com, http://www.computerhovel.com/windows­evolution.html (accessed Nov 9th, 2013), “Windows Screenshots” GuidebookGallery.org http://www.guidebookgallery.org/screenshots/win30 (accessed Nov 9th, 2013) 36 Walter Isaacson Steve Jobs. (London: Simon & Schuster, 2011) page 93 37 Jack Schofield, “A Very Good Job.....?” The Guardian Online, Tuesday November 13th, 2001. http://www.theguardian.com/education/2001/nov/13/itforschools.schools2 (accessed Nov 9th, 2013)


By the early 2000s however, Battleship Gray was perceived as “your dad’s colour” something that spoke to an old generation of mediocrity. Generation X was looking to be “extreme” which marketing directors exploited and interpreted to mean “make your computer visuals a sort­of­light cobalt blue”. This change, however, turned out to be a fad and in 2003, Apple released the Mac OS X Panther (The third of what could be labeled their “Big Cat Series”) reverting back to Battleship Gray as the menu and standard communication text box colour, with the addition of a metallic gloss. 38 By 2003, Macs were back on top as the premier tool of the growing digital design world. The 2001 PowerBook G4 had been the earliest example of macbook minimalism (with development from lead designers Jory Bell, Nick Merz and Danny Delulis)39 and was evocative of an almost space­age plastic­fantastic curved design that one might find in 1960s American pop­culture. Something which had itself been influenced by military design in WWII.

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It was retro but new, innovative yet familiar. Though the exterior of the device was seen mostly as a take on titanium, the operating system was the main thrust behind the financial success of the product. A success that had been shaded in the never­imposing Battleship Gray. Even in current operating systems across the industry, the predominant colour for most text boxes, tabs, backdrops, etc. is Battleship Gray. 41 Arguably, in the digital age of design there has never been a colour that has been so obviously used while being so blatantly ignored and for that aspect alone, it has become again the colour tactile mediocrity.

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“The Wayback Machine” Apple Support Archive, Web.archive.org http://web.archive.org/web/20110608064425/http://www.apple.com/support/panther/ (accessed November 9th, 2013) 39 Bloomberg Business Week “Apple’s Other Legacy: Top Designers” Bloomberg Online http://www.businessweek.com/stories/2005­09­05/apples­other­legacy­top­designers (accessed Nov 9th, 2013) 40 Image courtesy of Guidebookgallery. org “Windows Screenshots” GuidebookGallery.org http://www.guidebookgallery.org/screenshots/win30 (accessed Nov 9th, 2013) 41 Though the current trend for both the Mac OS and the Windows 8, seems to be a semi­transparent start tool. “Windows Screenshots” GuidebookGallery.org http://www.guidebookgallery.org/screenshots/win30 (accessed Nov 9th, 2013)


The Mundane Hurricane In becoming the predominant background colour Battleship Gray has changed the perception of all colours: physically, philosophically and virtually. 42 Further, its influence will only continue to grow as architectural design becomes ever more ethereal, intangible and dreamlike. Dealing with Battleship Gray means that experience is not against the horizon, but in it. Sure it sounds romantic, but it isn’t, not really. The horizon is only romantic as a place of aspiration and drive when it changes twice a day, giving its viewer ambition via the passage of time. When the horizon is close and unaltering, it becomes more like the passive gaze of a god who doesn’t care: unrelenting, unaltering, unacheivable. A tormenting reminder that everything in the natural world will be exactly the same after you will die just as it was before you were born. The proliferation of Battleship Gray has changed if not the forms of architecture, then certainly their presentation. The countless arguments about how the field has changed since 2001 (or even 1982, upon the first release of AutoCAD)43 are as plentiful as they are tedious. Yet to the credit of discourse, it is difficult to argue against the current emphasis on the image, particularly a digitally rendered image.How architects present designs, to clients and to each other, is so immersed in digital composition that it is often merely accepted as fact. 44 So ignoring the effects of something like background colour on how materials are rendered is at best insensitive and at worst irresponsible. Materiality is an important factor in all design, but the digital environment has made its imagery as important, if not more so, than the final project itself. As a design materiality, Battleship Gray encourages saturated, high­contrast colours, while simultaneously discouraging a messy, dirty, dithering kind of aesthetic. In its essentials, it is flat, clean, synthetic and encourages material to act in the same way. The Battleship Gray influenced digital presentation seems to continually present a world in a vacuum, where the sky is always bright and a comfortably but not threatening diverse population is at 60% opacity, on their way to an urban farmer’s market. Oh, and birds, lots and lots of birds. That or they become the remnants of a glossy, darkly perfect post­apocalyptic world where there are no people save for a shadowy masses, a futuristic Pompeii. It’s an aesthetic and it that sense, just as utopian as any modernist scheme for making people better through their environment: all the fun of the second coming without a hint of the self­aware. Exclusively digital architectural design as it has become is not too far from the conception of ideas as “plastic” 45: malleable and adaptable but also constrained in what they look and feel like. This is especially true in bad economies when built work is rare and mac books can be bought on credit. Battleship Gray is an underemployed architect’s best friend, and the Battleship Gray’s best friends are a specific colour pallet and lighting techniques. And why not? ­ its been undeniably convincing for the past twenty years. Though, like all general consensus, the question remains of its appropriateness in all situations. For example if one imagines the charcoal sketches of Maya Lin’s Vietnam War Memorial proposal as a

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The virtual world from its prevalence in computer design and the physical world from the virtual one that informs it. James Grahame “(2007­05­17) Mike Riddle's Prehistoric AutoCAD”. Retro Thing Publishing Online. http://www.retrothing.com/2007/05/mike_riddles_pr.html (accessed Nov 9th, 2013) 44 So much so that AutoCAD has recently released AutoDesk SketchBook Pro, which for all intensive purposes is another version of Photoshop, albiet one which is intended to exactly mimic the architectural sketch. 45 Le Corbusier, trans. by John Goodman, Toward an Architecture (Los Angeles: Getty Publishing 2007), page 246 in response to Le Corbusier’s notion of the “plastic artist” 43


model out of Sketchup or Rhino, it surgically removes everything that made the content compelling.46 The lines would be there, in marvelous 3D, but at the cost of its poetry, kindness and meaning. The strongest element of the entire design industry is its balance of innovation and sensitivity. So the idea of a designer choosing a medium other than digital being “nostalgic” or “cute” is somewhat unsettling. For this reason, perhaps the “Grays” argument on the colour as a metaphor for moral relativity was terrifyingly prophetic.

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Into the Distance Battleship Gray takes the dueling factors and turns them into two people slowly walking away from one another. Now Speaking the esperanto of computer expressions, it shows up at the barricade, finding no one to fight, because really, who could be bothered.49 It is so non­confrontational that the nothingness feeds design aesthetics without ever being noticed. Bringing sea and sky together to a placid nothing rather than a storm. Eventually, in a slow, deliberate march, it pushes design towards a kind of minimalist mundane, rather than what it wants to be: a hurricane. But if Battleship Gray is the new normal, does that mean its time to give up the ghost on seeing it as anything other than the end all, be all of design? Maybe not. White is a design statement, black is a fashion statement, and any other colour could be seen as a contrivance to stand out. Battleship Gray though, has sat comfortably in the realm of nothing for almost a century, becoming an unacknowledged, incredibly influential aspect. Yet the visceral nothingness can be controlled, or even rejected, but only if it is acknowledged as a reality. The soothing, threatening colour of the distance begs for one thing and one thing alone: distraction. When 46

Fred S. Kleiner, Gardner's Art Through the Ages: A Global History, Volume 1, (Stamford: Cengage Learning; 13 edition, 2008) page 1007 47 Images Courtesy of the Academy of Achievement, Washington DC. “Maya Lin Interview” Achievement.org, http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/printmember/lin0int­1 (accessed Nov 9th, 2013) 48 Image courtesy of Great Buildings Online. “Vietnam Memorial” Greatbuildings.com http://www.greatbuildings.com/buildings/Vietnam_Veterans_Memorial.html (accessed Nov 9th, 2013) 49 Keller Easterling “AA Thinktank: Plan the Planet” (speech, Architectural Association, London UK, Nov 1st, 2013)


left by itself, Battleship Gray is not powerful: it’s banal and slightly sad. So really the only way it becomes inevitable is if no other material or medium considered. To declare independence from Battleship Grey one need be only tactile and irreverent to the most popular aesthetic. If one sees no choice and just accepts Battleship Gray as the default method of design, it creates the general emptiness of an environment which doesn't seem to care. Like a bad waiting room’s Inspirational Posters, spouting vague platitudes about integrity and persistence without any sense of grounded reality: pleasant as long as you don’t think about it for too long. “Achieve, Dream, Explore.”50 “Eat, Sleep, Die.” Appraising the colour as a possibility, rather than an absolute, it becomes the calm before the storm. A storm which, in a shadowy, yet not necessarily­Luddite hiss mutters: screw it. There is and has never been anything inherently incorrect with a minimalist aesthetic, what is discomforting however is when it is accepted as the foundation of everything an architect does. It is limiting to what architecture is supposed to look like and in that sense, only a burden. However If a designer wants to choose Battleship Gray, it should be, above all things, a choice.

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Also known as “Successories” Successories Online Store “Welcome Page” http://www.successories.com/ (accessed Nov 9th, 2013)


Books/Print Articles: Daniel R.J The End of an Era (Penzance, UK: Periscope Publishing Ltd 2004) Geldzahler, Henry Met Museum of Art, American Painting in the 20th Century (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art Press 1965) Generous, William Sweet Pea at War, A History of the USS Portland (Lexington, KY: The University Press of Kentucky 2005) Hart, Robert A. The Great White Fleet: It’s Voyage Around the World, 1907­1909 (New York: Little, Brown 1965) Hills, Jill The Struggle for Control of Global Communication: The Formative Century(Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press 2002) Hughes, Langston Montage of a Dream Deferred (New York: Holt Publishing 1951) Isaacson, Walter Steve Jobs. (London: Simon & Schuster, 2011) Kliener, Fred S. Gardner's Art Through the Ages: A Global History, Volume 1, (Stamford: Cengage Learning; 13 edition, 2008) Le Corbusier, trans. by John Goodman, Toward an Architecture (Los Angeles: Getty Publishing 2007), page 246 Le Corbusier, trans by Francis Edwin Hyslop, When Cathedrals Were White: A Journey to the Country of Timid People (London: Routledge, 1947) Morris, Neil From Fail to Win: Learning from Bad Ideas, Gadgets and Inventions,(Oxford: Raintree Press 2011) Nast, Heidi & Steve Pile (editors), Architectural Theory: A Reader in Philosophy and Culture (London: Routledge, 1998) Nesbitt, Kate (editor), Theorizing a New Agenda for Architecture: An Anthology of Architectural Theory 1965­1995 (Princeton MA: Princeton Architectural Press) Prokopoff. Stephen Venturi, Rauch and Scott Brown: A Generation of Architecture (Champaign, IL: Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois, 1984) Schama, Simon The Power of Art (New York: Ecco Publishing, 2006) Stern, Robert A.M. (commentary) “Five on Five” Architectural Forum, May 1973 46­57 Yates, Richard Revolutionary Road (New York: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2008) Lectures: Keller Easterling “AA Thinktank: Plan the Planet” (speech, Architectural Association, London UK, Nov 1st, 2013)


Websites/Articles: Apple Support Archive, “The Wayback Machine”Web.archive.org http://web.archive.org/web/20110608064425/http://www.apple.com/support/panther/ (accessed November 9th, 2013) Bloomberg Business Week “Apple’s Other Legacy: Top Designers” Bloomberg Online http://www.businessweek.com/stories/2005­09­05/apples­other­legacy­top­designers (accessed Nov 9th, 2013) Navy Military History of the United States (official website) “Military History Frequently Asked Questions” History.Navy.Mil http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq42­1.htm (accessed Nov 7th, 2013) Successories Online Store “Welcome Page” http://www.successories.com/ (accessed Nov 9th, 2013) Grahame, James “(2007­05­17) Mike Riddle's Prehistoric AutoCAD”. Retro Thing Publishing Online. http://www.retrothing.com/2007/05/mike_riddles_pr.html (accessed Nov 9th, 2013) Shofield, Jack “A Very Good Job.....?” The Guardian Online, Tuesday November 13th, 2001. http://www.theguardian.com/education/2001/nov/13/itforschools.schools2 (accessed Nov 9th, 2013)

Images (2) Image Courtsey of Government Book Talk.Gov Norman Carter, colour Postcard 3” x 5” Archives of Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington DC. Available from Government Book Talk Blog http://govbooktalk.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/uss­fleet­sydney.jpg (accessed November 7th 2013) (10) Image Courtsey of CityofArt.net Larry Nielson, colour image. Available from CityofArt.net http://www.cityofart.net/bship/dreadnought.html (accessed Nov 7th 2013) (22) Image Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art Website. Edward Hopper, Office in A Small City Paint on Canvas 28” x 40” Archives of the Metroplitan Museum of Art, New York City, Available in online gallery http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works­of­art/53.183 (accessed Nov 7th, 2013) (23) Image Courtesy of the Whitney Museum of Art Website. George Tooker The Subway, 1950. Egg tempera on composition board, 18 1/8 × 36 1/8 in Archives of the Whitney Museum of Art, New York City, Available in online gallery http://whitney.org/ForKids/Collection/GeorgeTooker (accessed Nov 7th, 2013) (30) Image Courtesy of Architects List.com. “Venturi Scott Brown and Associaties” Architectslist.com http://architectslist.com/cities/Philadelphia/firms/142­Venturi­Scott­Brown­and­Associates/projects/375­TRUBEK­ WISLOCKI­HOUSES (accessed Nov 9th, 2013) ­ Second Gray pairing by Author. (35) Images Courtesy of ComputerHovel.com and GuidebookGallery.org, respectively. “Windows Evolution” ComputerHovel.com, http://www.computerhovel.com/windows­evolution.html (accessed Nov 9th, 2013),


“Windows Screenshots” GuidebookGallery.org http://www.guidebookgallery.org/screenshots/win30 (accessed Nov 9th, 2013) (47) Image courtesy of Great Buildings Online. “Vietnam Memorial” Greatbuildings.com http://www.greatbuildings.com/buildings/Vietnam_Veterans_Memorial.html (accessed Nov 9th, 2013) (48) Images Courtesy of the Academy of Achievement, Washington DC. “Maya Lin Interview” Achievement.org, http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/printmember/lin0int­1 (accessed Nov 9th, 2013) Film/Video Revolutionary Road, directed by Sam Mendes (2008; Los Angeles, CA: Paramount Home Video, 2009), DVD John Green “World War II: Part II The Homefront Crash Course US History #36 , CrashCourse Video Nov 1, 2013 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HofnGQwPgqs (Accessed Nov 7th, 2013)


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