What is Space?

Module Introduction:

We were asked what we thought ‘Space’ meant and this is what we thought of in our group:

  •  A mass of nothingness
  • Types of spaces, occupied by objects or people
  • Contained spaces
  • Negative spaces – Rachel Whiteread
  • All around us
  • Out of space
  • An area/room
  • Gap between words
  • Interaction-people
  • Place/ Location
  • Frame


mind map


The definition we will be using are:

  1. A continuous are or expanse which is free, available, or unoccupied.
  2. The dimensions of height, depth, and width within which all things exist and move.


  • Light/natural/artificial
  • Shade/dark
  • Boundaries/types/boundless
  • Dimensions/scale
  • Elements of form

As spaces becomes organised with these conditions, architecture/design comes into being:

My written notes

Positive and Negative spaces:

Positives spaces are created when things are arranged together where as negative spaces are created when things are random:

Positive and negative space

Interiors are positive spaces as well as the outside due to the height of ceilings that change spaces and create voids inside:

Image from the slide show

At first glance you would consider this as a waste of space as it is a library and the orange section could have been filled in. However natural lights is pouring into that area from the roof which makes it a silent room where people’s voices would echo. On the other hand the dark grey area would be the opposite as it is an enclosed place where you would feel different from the orange space.

*Spaces are places with meaning*

There are three types of spaces such as public, private and interior.

Such as this public place in the picture:

‘I love you will u marry me’ photo

This is Parkhill, Sheffield, people were evicted from the flats here which gave some important people the idea to invest into the run down area and changed the flats to become modern and for young people. The bridge has written in neon lighting ‘I love you will u marry me’ as a symbol and to show a history of the building.


*A well designed space or environment can evoke a range of moods and memories*

You get different feelings when you are in prisons or 5* hotels which designers can design to control how people feel in these spaces. When you are in a prison it makes you feel sad and enclosed where as when you are in a 5* hotel you feel happy and luxurious.

‘Garden of Exile’ by Daniel Libeskind in Berlin

Daniel Libeskind Building called ‘Garden of Exile’ in Berlin makes you think about your surroundings as the floor is uneven which makes you body change direction when walking. To make it even more confusing the columns are slanted so that when you are walking you find yourself walking slanted as you automatically line yourself with columns as they are normally straight.

I then watched and listened to this video: https://www.ted.com/talks/amanda_burden_how_public_spaces_make_cities_work#t-279231

I found that video so inspiring and interesting to watch as she turned places which were disused and designed green public spaces in them. I loved the comparison between a modern space and her designs of public spaces as it makes you realise how many modern spaces we have that we can not socialise in as well as open spaces.

Group work:

In groups we had 30 minutes to create a community we would like to live in an ideal world. We had to think about the conditions that affect a space, add places to eat, sleep, play and relax and how the spaces will make you feel. We jotted ideas down that we had first and then started our plan view of our space as shown in the photos below:

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The centre spiral is our transport system in the community where houses are built around the edge of it for easy access. The spiral changes height the further down you go where they are a lot of ponds to look at and a few caves if you want alone time in a dark place.

We decided to make the community very green and have a lot of trees and exotic flowers around the place. There is plenty of open spaces in our community so that people can social and relax as we thought cities were crowded with not much nature.

On some levels there are aquariums where people can sit and view that area to relax and eat. We have both a shopping area and a cat cafe where you can have retail therapy or if you want to relax and eat in a place surrounded by animals you like.


  • Oxford English Dictionary
  • Sensing Spaces: Architecture Reimagined, exh. cat., Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2014
  • Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space, Beacon Press, Boston, 1958
  • Sigfried Giedion, Space, Time and Architecture, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1967
  • Christian Norberg-Schulz,Existence, Space and Architecture, Studio Vista, London, 1971
  • Steen Eiler Rasmussen, Experiencing Architecture, Chapman and Hall, London, 1959
  • Cornelius (Cornelis) van de Ven, Space in Architecture, Van Gorcum, The Netherlands, 1987
  • Bruno Zevi, Architecture as Space, Horizon Press, New York, 1946 translated 1957
  • Coles.J., House,N.,& Dawsonera.(2007). The Fundamentals of interior architecture. Lausanne, AVA Academia
  • Burden, A. (2014) How public spaces make cities work. Available at: https://www.ted.com/talks/amanda_burden_how_public_spaces_make_cities_work#t-279231 (Accessed: 22 October 2016)





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