The Hidden Dimension in Landscape Design

photo of Gomphrena Buddy Purple and Brunnera Jack Frost by Jan Johnsen


When Westerners think and talk about space, they mean the distance between objects.

 In the West, we are taught to perceive and to react to the arrangement of objects and to think of space as "empty".

The meaning becomes clear only when it is contrasted with the Japanese, who are trained to give meaning to spaces – to perceive the shape and arrangement of spaces – for this they have a word, 'ma.’

~ Edward T. Hall, The Hidden Dimension

I am starting another studio class on landscape design at Columbia University. It is their first studio so I focus on...what else?....space.  The space between flower blossoms ( as shown above)  is the same as the space between sofa and chair, big building and little building. It is all proportion and scale, creating dynamic tension - or not.

The book I assign is the old classic, 'The Hidden Dimension' by Edward T Hall.  Guess what the hidden dimension is......(hint:  it is not time) .



















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