Date of Award

Spring 6-3-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (MArch)



First Advisor

Arianna Deane

Second Advisor

Carlos Medillin


There's a trend for American architects to wear all black, build all white models, and design buildings all in shades of gray and beige. One of many factors that contributes to an increasingly achromatic discipline is that in American architectural education, color theory is not a required aspect of the design curriculum. In response, this thesis proposes a toolkit for architects with the intent to shed light on biases against color within the discipline, educate designers on color theory and application, and provide tools and frameworks to encourage more intentional use of color throughout a contemporary design process. The toolkit includes a glossary of terms, a catalog of colors, a model of 3D color relationships, an algorithm for polychromes, a library of color-organized materials, and a schedule of drawing conventions.


View exhibition online: Ella Knight, An Architect's Toolkit for Color Theory



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