Non-Existent Spaces

March 2018

The name of this project is Non-Existent Spaces1 and it is born out of the observation of the spaces around us and the various ways in which we occupy them. It argues that spaces exist in our perception and only there. It is different to know of a place than to actually have agency in it. We are the ones who define our surroundings through the ways we engage with them.

Space is self evident, but the way we perceive it is not. A bedroom, a lecture theatre, a factory, a rainforest, an island; all these spaces only exist when we create memories of ourselves interacting with them. They have standard names and often obvious functions but until we “verify” them, they remain spaces like the ones in our dreams: their shapes, sizes, colours, forms, functions might be changing depending on our thoughts and feelings. They will not exist until some or all of our senses are given the chance to create definitions for them.

This model consists of acrylic sheets engraved with visualisations of physical and imaginary spaces. These represent our surroundings, the spaces we occupy, the spaces we think of either consciously or unconsciously in our dreams.

The torch represents one’s agency within a space. The complexity of our surroundings is freed from its chaotic form when we engage with it. As the torch moves, different layers of spatial visualisations become visible. This movement aims to illustrate how one’s engagement with the spaces around them shapes the way they perceive them, which in itself is a never-ending process.

The aim of this prototype is to propose a new standard way of consciously acknowledging our surroundings, a new standard way of spatial perception. Embracing this alternative standard way of thinking that spaces only exist through our experiences with them, is in itself a liberating process. It is a process of questioning our limits within the tangible or virtual divisions which create boundaries between indoors and outdoors, public and private and the urban and nature. It is through this new standard way of spatial perception that we can blur these divisions and allow for creative spatial innovation.

  1. A tribute to Georges Perec’s “Species of Spaces and Other Pieces”.