The concept, like the style, is deceptively simple: negative space is the space that surrounds an object (the positive space) in an image. In the concept of negative space, this space is just as important–and in some cases, more important–than the positive space. Negative space is so called because it is the exact opposite of a balanced image, which may include a subject such as an illustration with a person and text, and a variety of other shapes. Less is more and all that jazz. Negative space is required in maximalist design concepts too and I have a perfect example of how it’s so important. The contemporary building is an object on a background of space. Negative space is also often known as white space. Simply put, positive space is the actual subject while negative space (also called white space) is the area surrounding the subject. The concept that space can have a quality other than emptiness is difficult to grasp. Something that I learned back in my Graphic Design days was the importance of utilizing negative space in a design. The shapes created by negative space interact with the other more obvious elements – reinforcing existing relationships and introducing new ones. Or in other words, positive space is the main focus area whilst negative space is the background. Negative space is the area surrounding the subject. Often designers (including myself) try to fill in as many design elements inside of a set real estate not knowing that it ultimately convolutes the overall message of the design. ... ” –101 Things I Learned in Architecture School by Matthew Frederick. Negative space is not just stuff left over after items have been sized and placed, it is an important part of any good composition. Negative space is the empty or open space around an object that defines it. ... “‘Negative’ spaces are never deliberately constructed,” says … Without needing an allegory, the power and primacy of space becomes much more important. Not only do we prefer to be in positive shaped spaces, we can also make negative spaces a lot more interesting by adding vertical interest to your planting beds that you can’t add to your lawn area. The Use and Importance of Negative Space in Design. We are trained to see the outside of the cup; in the architecture of space, it is the volume contained by the inside of the cup which is equally important. In layman’s terms, it is the breathing room around the subject that determines how appealing it looks. It defines the positive space. In the architecture of space, form and space are locked together in a three dimensional figure-ground. How architecture uses space, light and material to affect your mood ... this is more important than ever. For example, if you take a cloudscape, the clouds are the positive space and the blue sky is the negative space. Isaac Levitan, Clouds, Positive space refers to areas where the subject is positioned. Architecture - Architecture - Space and mass: Space, that immaterial essence that the painter suggests and the sculptor fills, the architect envelops, creating a wholly human and finite environment within the infinite environment of nature. Negative space isn’t something only used in minimal design, although there is generally lots more negative space used in minimalism. The left over scraps of dough is the negative space. It’s all about finding the right balance. Negative space in photography, design, sculpture or any other creative pursuit is equally as important as is positive space in overall composition. Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash. ) is the area surrounding the subject that determines how appealing it looks or other! 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