NYCxDesign 2013: Negative Space

Negative Space is an exhibition where designers explore the idea of negative space from new and interesting perspectives. Ten designers from Konstfack, the largest university of arts, crafts, and design in Sweden, took on the challenge and present a series of their own interpretations where they examine the relationship between objects and their surrounding space.

Questions they ask:
– What is a negative space?
– Can it be framed by something other than matter?
– Can a negative space be made tangible?


Berg, by Arash Eskafi, lets you build your own mountain of clothes thereby changing the negative space based on how you layer them.


Berg by Arash Eskafi


Covered, by Amyel Oliveros, is a series of glass and cork objects that create negative space depending on cuts, holes, slits, and indents that are added to them.


Covered by Amyel Oliveros


Spin, a collapsible stool by Daphne Zuilhof, morphs from a simple compact shape into an open and complex stool.


Spin by Daphne Zuilhof


Spin by Daphne Zuilhof


Mitosis are a set of side tables by Gemma Lord that represent the process in which negative space is filled, i.e. mitosis, where living cells divide and split into two new cells.


Mitosis by Gemma Lord


Light Habitat, designed by Maja Frögård and Sofia Josephson, is a tent-like light that essentially frames a new space where layers and air are captured within the transparent construction.


Light Habitat by Maja Frögård and Sofia Josephson


Rise and Shine are a series of lights by Kajsa Jacobson that shows negative space and how it can affect light and the usage of the light based on the function of the lamp. You press the shade down to turn the light off which reduces the negative space.


Rise and Shine by Kajsa Jacobson


Rise and Shine by Kajsa Jacobson


Beams is a family of lights by Sofia Lazzeri where the captured light itself casts a glow and becomes matter, giving the illusion of filling up the volume of glass.


Beams by Sofia Lazzeri


Noir, by Iina Vuorivirta, are a set of polished brass surfaced mirrors that are there to help us pay attention to forgotten spaces or ones taken for granted.


Skin and Bone, by Yu-Ching Chiang, takes a look at the dark, dirty corners we all have in our home. No need to bring the dust pan with you when you sweep – simply leave the triangular-shaped Skin and Bone dust pan in the corner and sweep the dust to where it awaits.


Skin and Bone by Yu-Ching Chiang


You might remember when we covered the Synapse Cabinet by Alexandra Denton a while back and it’s part of this exhibition. The sculptural storage cabinets, inspired by the brain, are meant to hold memories in the suspended cubes.

Caroline Williamson is Editor-in-Chief of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.