Wonmin Park

"Colors of Gentrification"

Section MS6, Mustapha Jundi

Keywords: extraction, materials, urbanism, identity

Where does local color come from? Geographic factors, such as geology, the nature of the terrain, the sky, the light, the vegetation, the indigenous building materials, the constructions themselves. But also from socio-cultural factors where traditions and customs are expressed in choices of particular colors, contrasts, assemblages and harmonies that are acceptable in some places, rejected in others, desirable yesterday or today but perhaps replaceable tomorrow. Colour changes, it moves and lives. This slow observation of the components of a colour in its surroundings is a fathomless well of information with one constant; colour participates in defining the identity of an area; it is part of the heritage and contributes to the cultural roots of a population.< 1

Paris is no exception to the phenomenon of gentrification observed in many capitals 2, which results in the arrival of executives in working-class neighborhoods, thus leading to a demographic change. In Paris as elsewhere, it is the increase in housing prices that is gradually excluding the poorest from central districts. First come the artists, then the cranes. As the kamikaze pilots of urban renewal, wherever the creatives go, developers will follow, rents will rise, the artists will move on, and the pre-existing community will be evicted. The project documents the transformation in Paris 3rd district that is caused by the process of gentrification. By using photography, I document the facades of all the store fronts through compiling their various colors. After classifying the stores, colors are extracted and named in relation to their context of origin. These stores range from shoe stores, accessories, and electronics that are threatened by a new wave of art galleries, art bookstores, artist studios and coffee shops. The final photographic project compiles through extraction the range of colors of gentrification as an urban coded collection.

  1. Jean-Philippe Lenclos, View on color 7. 

  2. Wainwright, Oliver. 2016. "Gentrification is a global problem. It's time we found a better solution". The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/sep/29/gentrification-global-problem-better-solution-oliver-wainwright