White: Design and class.

The colour white is a prominent feature in contemporary design. Without doing any research to collect the necessary data, I would venture a guess and state that white was the colour of choice in the late 90's and early 00's, where it reached its peak and began a slow decline up to this point in time. By design I refer to industrial design, interior design and architecture.

Why? My first reaction is "cleanliness." Not just in the inherent symbolic quality of the colour - i.e. purity, openness, fresh, light - but the clarity in which the colour lends texture, movement and space. Curves are clearly delineated for the eye to follow. White constrasts strongly with the dark exterior, namely the turmoil of modern life riddled with anxiety and poverty. A designless, pragmatic, and political environment. Drab greens and deep blue suits.

What can the bourgeois do?

To maintain a white interior, great care must be taken to ensure it remains spotless. White sheets must be laundered. White surfaces must be scrubbed. Domesticity becomes a hobby; spare time is spent cleaning property that resists staying in that preferred state. White takes on a class dimension at this point; the time required for such maintenance is afforded to those who possess enough economic and social capital to invest in such an activity.


Rombsy said...

Like tennis, cricket, and lawn bowling whites. Like linens for centuries.

jess said...

you are smart.

(but white isn't a colour - it's all colours!) i like that about white. and what i hate about white is that you have to clean it all the freakin' time so i just don't and opt for patterns instead.

there - i've given away my decorating and fashion secret.