Louis Rice discusses blue tarpaulin in relation to its pervasiveness and ubiquitous employment (along with reclaimed materials) in informal constructions around the globe.

 

‘This burgeoning blueness is a global phenomenon and is recasting many cities under a wash of
‘International Slum Blue’ (a reference to Yves Klein’s ‘International Klein Blue’)’ pg 91

 

The advantages for use are inherent in it’s materiality; ‘waterproof, pliable, flexible and lightweight’. It is also cheap to manufacture on a mass scale in the terms of these physical properties, the colour blue a serendipitous utilitarian choice marrying cost effectiveness and purpose.

 

‘blue dye is also cheaper than bleaching the raw materials … blue is also used by the UN for disaster and emergency shelters due to the colour being relatively resistant to deterioration by the sun and to its contrast with the colours of natural materials, which makes it easier to spot dirt and decay. This explains blue tarpaulin’s ubiquity across the planet; it is evident in every continent regardless of climate and stretches across all cultural, economic and political boundaries’. pg 92

Rice, L. TRANSGRESSION: TOWARDS AN EXPANDED FIELD OF ARCHITECTURE, Chapter 4 Informal architecture/s.

 

 

 

Blue tarpaulin (at Poundland)

 

 

 

 

Lora Nikolaeva Nikolova