Join Dave Schultze for an in-depth discussion in this video Defining space, part of Design Foundation 3D: Shape and Form.
- If you're math nerd, you'd define space using the x, y, z, coordinate system to maybe define a point in space or a formula for a volume. Instead, we're going to define space by creating some sense of enclosure. Let's illustrate this point with one of my favorite things some more animation. In these examples we're seeing space defined without walls or surfaces, instead, these points and lines clearly communicate their surfaces, forms or spaces you're inside of.
Another way we can define space is by using a term for the exact opposite, what I call leakage. This is where space is completely undefined like in this example with a very lonely man, on a boat in the fog, or me in outer space. Here, the feeling can get quite uncomfortable sine there's no definition or reference point, you're completely in an alien environment. For an actual example, let's check out this guy in the woods. There are trees even though they're spaced far apart, helping define an edge, almost like a corridor, or direction where he's moving.
For an extra bonus, we get the canopy above, really helping to define a roof or an outdoor room for his little walk in the woods. We also define space without any walls at all. One example would be a screen which could be mostly open but still defines that edge, right here. We can also define the space with the structure, for example two columns can define an entry way, or two columns with a beam across. Another way to do it is by changing the floor level. It can go up or down, and change materials.
We can change the ceiling. Also the levels can go up and down, but they can also open up to the sky. So we can define space many ways without using solid walls. This next example of kind of a space station hallway, we have one side completely open, but the strong forms of the floor and the ceiling help to define that one open side. It's really popular in a lot of startup companies to have office space in these gigantic warehouses. Which can be great for collaboration but is a little painful for some people with the lack of privacy.
So you'll see a lot of partitions going up, especially vertically, but also horizontal structures built from time to time to help people get a little bit of sense of enclosure and define that space for their own work. Let's go outside and talk about defining space in an urban planning environment. It's been known for a long time that having buildings in close proximity will draw people in. Especially like public squares. For example, from a one to one, or maybe even two to one, it's the ideal proportion. Let's also think about the exact opposite, maybe five to one or maybe even much further.
Picture some suburban environment with a multi-lane road, sidewalks, and lots of parking. Whatever buildings are there are pretty far away. What happens is, the cars go faster and faster, people do not feel like being in an undefined environment, and it's also not safe, so you'll see these sidewalks become completely abandoned. So there's a lot of different ways to define space. Here at Emerson, we're actually mixing uses. We've got residential towers on either side of me, classrooms in the middle, and along the street, there's actually some retail.
So not just the spaces in between but the functions inside is one of the many ways to define space.
First, see how the same idea can be applied in a smaller 2D scale—like graphics and print, fine art, and advertising. Dave then blows it up in 3D, and showcases examples from product design, furniture, architecture, and urban planning.
Projects and concepts are presented in an engaging and sometimes irreverent manner with images, videos, and personal and professional stories from Dave. Check out this fast-paced tour as it covers topics ranging from grids and axes to designing with humor.
- Design exploration with sketching
- 3D exploration with organic forms
- Grids and axes
- Defining space
- Color and contrast
- Texture and patterns
- Minimalism. Less is more.
- Retro. It's back!