The Color Line

Lecture History and Theory of Architecture VIII (063-0804-22)
Organizer: Visiting Lectureship Choi
Lecturers: Dr. Rebecca Choi
Time: Fridays, 15:45 - 17:30

This course begins with the premise that architecture’s “color,” or its not-quite-so-whiteness, is difficult to see. Thinking through the color line as it was quite often literalized through built architectures, the course acknowledges the ways in which the discipline and profession has historically contributed to the racialization of space by building segregated geographies. The lectures, however, focus on projects and ideas by tracing subjects who cut across “lines”, resisted and countered these spaces presumed to have rigid boundaries by imagining, building, defining and galvanizing alternative lifeworlds.

The course asks how one might produce alter-narratives, resistance designs, revisionist critiques that are inclusive. In this way, the course goal is a call to action which includes generating a response from the class, with the foundational goal to help students think about architecture and the subjects that inhabit, create and contest it.



  • Lecture 01 - 25.02.2022: Introduction
  • Lecture 02 - 04.03.2022: SHIPS: Spaceships and Spacetime 1745 and 1914
  • Lecture 03 - 11.03.2022: STREET: Fieldwork and Détourn-ing the Diagram 1899
  • Lecture 04 - 18.03.2022: CIRCULATION: “Riots” and Re-worlding 1919 and 1965
  • Lecture 05 - 01.04.2022: CLASSROOM: Resistance 1967
  • Lecture 06 - 08.04.2022: Resistance 1967 Continued
  • Lecture 07 - 29.04.2022: Guest Lecture Will Davis
  • Lecture 08 - 06.05.2022: SWAMP: Retreat and Returns
  • Lecture 09 - 13.05.2022: HOUSING: Contingency and the Profession
  • Lecture 10 - 20.05.2022: SITE: Uncover Recover Guest Lecture Alfredo Thiermann

Readings and other media

Lecture 01: No Readings
Lecture 02: Olaudah Equiano, Chapter 1 in "The Interesting Narrative and Other Writings" and Sun Ra All Stars and the Sun Ra Arkestra with Archie Shepp Berlin 10/291983
Lecture 03: W. E. B. Du Bois "Of the Dawn of Freedom in The Souls of Black Folk" and Alexander G. Weheliye, "Diagrammatics as Physiognomy" 
Lecture 04: June Meyer, "Instant Slum Clearance"  and Eve L. Ewing, [/I]“Countless Schemes”[/I] 
Lecture 05: Sharon Egretta Sutton and James Stewart Polshek, "When Ivory Towers Were Black: A Story about Race in America’s Cities and Universities"  and Craig Wilkins, "Diversity among Architects: From Margin to Center" 
Lecture 06: Chika Okeke-Agulu and The Black Reconstruction Collective
Lecture 07: Will Davis “Loneliness, Disappearance and the Veneer of Protection” August 2020
Lecture 08: Harriet Jacobs, "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Written by Herself"
Lecture 09: Whitney M. Young Jr. speech to AIA Convention in Portland  and Rebecca Choi, "Whitney Young and the Black Architectural Imagination" 
Lecture 10: David Graeber and David Wengrow. The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact my assistants


Dr. Rebecca Choi