When talking about positive and negative spaces, it's important
first understand the term "space" in itself. Indoors
designs any volume that is contained in the masonry
walls and are habitable is normally called space.
The volume that is enclosed in an architectural structure is
just a small fraction of the large amount of "universal space".
By universal space, I mean the cosmos or gigantic immensity
in which our planet and all other planets survive, etc. etc.
The volume, which is contained in a building, varies according to
the use of the building. A cinema and a bedroom will surely
have different goals and therefore a volume. Volume is defined by
three factors, the length, width and height of the living room
But regardless of the volume, the two types of buildings mentioned
above have "spaces" enclosed within. Consider the room
for the sake of this article.
A typical bedroom will have some architectural elements
attached to it during the construction of the building and
some "imposed" later for proper operation. Also
It is important to note that no one builds bedrooms in isolation.
A room is always part of the plan of the entire house.
Architectural elements already present in a room would be
adjoining toilet and its entrance door, adjoining terrace or
rear entrance, adjoining study room. All these spaces have
works as an additional role in a bedroom. Now, the "imposed"
elements are the furniture in the room, other accessories
will occupy the space in a bedroom.
A typical bedroom will have a double bed, a wardrobe, a walk-in closet
table, bedside tables, study table, book shelf etc. All of these
are necessary to use the room comfortably. When these
furniture are arranged in a room what remains is called the
"circulation space". Now, most people think that the volume of
the remaining furniture and empty space must have a balance
between them. Because it's not the busy volume, but the
Empty volume, which decides comfort levels inside a room.
If you visit a storage room in the basement of a house that is
normally used to throw unnecessary things, you will notice that the
empty space remained is very less and so the comfort levels
there, are poor. So, in interior design, "empty space" is
equally important. Now here is the concept of positive and
negative spaces. Normally, a negative space is considered a
Space that can not be used for a specific human activity
But this is not true. As said above the most of all levels of comfort
in a room is determined by both the occupants and not occupied
spaces. So, the smallest piece of floor area that is not
busy will contribute to comfort levels.
That's why the terminology of being positive and negative
until usability is considered a personal matter. What
you think as a useless and non-functional space can become a
good place for your kid and his friends when they play hide and seek and
search. It's just the point of view of looking at what matters.
Also a little creativity can change a non-functional space in
a functional. But remember what I said earlier, on the inside
The design of empty space is important. This is not just beautiful furniture,
expensive paintings / wallpapers / paintings that will decorate
your rooms. Finally, it comes down to one thing, you and
Your mental and physical health in this space
I hope this article has been helpful to everyone.
Copyright Shrinivas Vaidya