On his “Box of Crayons” blog (http://www.boxofcrayons.biz/) post for May 10, 2010, Opening Up, Michael Bungay Stanier discussed part of how to “open up…and open up…and open up…”. His post included advice to writers to write about what matters rather than what is easy. He advised asking the very best to get involved rather than backing away, to pay attention to what is being said to us rather than to our own interior monologue. He advised “Hold empty space rather than filling it up with miscellany”. His advice is applicable to most areas of work, including thought, relationships, media and physical construct, among many.
In many areas of design, whether two, three or four-dimensional the spaces between are as important to the composition as the work between the spaces … whether the matter be art, music, oration, graphic design, architecture, community and regional planning, agriculture, or…you name it.
Yet, far too often, stewards and creators focus on the substance between the spaces and ignor those pesky spaces between. Those interstitial spaces are filled with time, gradients of light, sound or silence, environmental context, movement and support, rest and regeneration, freedom and containment, a surrounding or buffering entourage, all of which nurture the primary subject of the work. On a larger scale, the spaces are sometimes part of a matrix that either separates a creative ouvre or links it to other work by the author or by others.
Spaces Between do not merely “set apart”, they “knit together” in a “both/and” paradox. A special eye toward this critical area of innovation can be nurtured and learned. Would that benefit your creative work and relationships?
Study work, products and constructs you admire that have stood the test of time and include consideration of those spaces between in your analysis of them. Discuss with your collaborators, partners, acquaintances how they perceive, utilize and function with the spaces between in their efforts. Then, commit to fully considering how to apply your expanded knowledge of spaces between within and around your creative processes.
Provoke the spaces between to empower your work, and your work to empower them.