The value of voids

The value of voids

On the presence of absence:

Perception is at least a twofold process: the first stage is an awareness; the second attends more directly to the particular stimulus. In staking out our place in the world, we begin by reforming the relevant order as a means of overlaying significance onto that terrain. Disturbance, whether by adding or subtracting from the landscape, is the first realization of environmental design.

Important because:

The power of absences is felt in varying contexts. We notice for the first time certain structures when they have been torn down for a parking lot or when the site is vacant, awaiting construction. Like the exaggerated sense of the missing tooth, one becomes more aware after it has been extracted. Departure from the normal order, whether it be construction in the natural setting or destruction in the urban environment, controls our attention. We can focus only on the void, at times forgetting the subject that has been removed.

In all instances of design, a void invites us to participate in a way that the solid cannot. The challenge is to discover the voids we pass through, staking claim to see both the voids and the solids, discovering both equally.