Turns out that all the people who didn’t listen to me at Upper Managment KERA were smart. In Dallas, this green has become Our Trendy New Shade of Light Summery Slime.
First, it was just the seats at the Wyly Theatre. But by the time the Wyly architects showed up in town to meet the media two weeks ago, the color was all over the lobby like a fungus. The lobby’s little foam seats look like glowing, cube-shaped toadstools. Fittingly, in the restrooms, the entrances seem to have been splashed with Mountain Dew as well.
What most people don’t realize is that this is the only consistent color throughout the Wyly Theatre, even in the offices. The entire lighting grid (left), for instance, glows without benefit of electricity. So, given the opportunity in our interview, I asked architect Rem Koolhaas, Who chose the theater’s lovely color scheme of cement, steel, flourescent and Early Nuclear Meltdown? He told me to ask Joshua, the other architect. But in our video interview, Joshua Prince-Ramus made it clear that things like color choices are personal preferences that architects don’t concern themselves with too much. They’re busy thinking up radical advances in More Concrete. But then he ‘fessed up and blamed the client.
And the folks at the Dallas Theater Center have indeed run with Vile Bile. Their web page re-design is heavy on the green, but it’s a darker, kelly-ish green. The Midsummer Night’s Dream ad campaign, on the other hand, has oozed this very same luminescence on to buses and posters all around town. (The color also appears prominently in the stage production in designer Claudia Stephens’ costumes.) One of the premises behind Prince-Ramus’ lack of interest in color choice is the fact that, as a matter of personal taste, it’s very likely that as many people will hate it as like it. Either way he’d irk somebody, so why choose at all?
But there are definite trends in color popularity, and the Garish Green is out-voting me all over Dallas. Last week, Unfair Park ran a photo update of progress on the $17 million Main Street Garden on the east end of downtown. Lo and behold, the Lily Pad Cafe is looking distinctly bilious.
Then there’s the Dallas Center for Architecture’s website, which like Art&Seek, has the the Only Color That Clashes With Itself as a primary design element. This confirms my suspicion that the sudden prevalence of Sherwin-Williams’ paint color #47C-8 (“Sweet Rotting Frog”) is the result of a plot by a cabal of architects. They’ve cornered the national supply of this particular hue and are promoting it in their designs, then selling their gallon cans back to building contractors at inflated prices. A way to rustle up some Real Green for themselves.