“The yohaku, empty space created by the shallow pond surrounding the large boulders, is essential for the stones to fully express their form and beauty.  Photo: Aurora Santiago.

The beauty of empty space is experiential for both creators and viewers. For the artist/designer working with natural materials, that means paying extra attention to an element’s unique shape and how it was formed by nature—whether a stone for a dry landscape garden, or a flower to be placed in an ikebana arrangement. The designer has the responsibility for determining the interval or space (ma) between things. For it’s the relationship between the edges of one thing and another that defines the shape and composition of the empty space between. Too much space can weaken spatial relationships, too little creates a dull staccato. Yohaku is the result of the designer/artist creating a wonderful subtle spatial jazz.

For the beholder, the pregnant empty space of yohaku is calming as well as energizing. It gives our eyes a place to rest. But empty space also stimulates and holds our attention, engaging our imagination. Is that softly painted area a misty sky–or part of a lake? We love to “fill in” empty spaces. Watching our minds do so, we consciously encounter and participate in the field of potentiality: we come face to face with emptiness. That we can do so within the context of artistic beauty, carefully created with artistic principles in mind, is a splendid bonus.” – Seattle Japanese Garden


“White spaces can be profoundly beautiful; full of mystery and promise, a reminder of the infinite potential that dwells within nature–and each of us.  

Pine Trees

, 16th century, by Hasegawa Tōhaku, Tokyo National Museum.

Among my favorite paintings are a set of screens depicting Pine Trees, painted by Hasegawa Tōhaku about 1680. I discovered them during my study of Japanese arts and culture in college. The trees, delicately painted in shades of black ink, are surrounded by large swaths of unpainted white silk. Dreamy as the imagery is, the vision that Pine Trees offered seemed very real to me because I’d experienced many similar scenes as I walked the environs of San Francisco’s Japanese Tea Garden, near to where I lived for many years. Breezes from the Pacific gently moved the moist foggy mists, wrapping them around trees, creating ever shifting scenes that nudged me into contemplation.

Whether gazing at ink paintings or walking in the fog, I experienced the white spaces and mists as a profound beauty full of mystery and promise—appropriate for someone whose life as an adult was just beginning to flower. The emptiness of the space held a real beauty for me. It was the potential of my life.

The beauty of the extra white, the space left empty, is called yohaku no bi in Japanese. This is a concept borrowed from Chinese landscape ink wash paintings, where clouds, mist, sky, and water could be left unpainted.  Their presence was suggested only by the carefully rendered edges of the surrounding landscape. This artistic strategy resonated with Taoism’s idea of qi (chi) – the formless energy from which the universe emanates.

In the 12th century Buddhist priest-artists brought the empty space concept and its expression back to Japan. In time, the use of empty space moved beyond painting (Sumi-e or Suibokuga) and became a key characteristic of Japanese art and design. It found its place in art forms such as calligraphy, garden design (especially dry gardens), and flower arranging.

Zen artists in particular appreciated the dynamic vitality created by empty areas. They saw in them a signifier of the Buddhist notion of emptiness as the ultimate reality. In this context emptiness doesn’t signify lack or something negative. Instead, it can be understood as an energetic field of infinite potentiality. This potentiality is what brings such energy to the use of empty space in Zen-inspired design, where empty areas carry the same weight as painted areas. In significant ways the empty space contributes a unique quality of structure, balance and definition in a composition.” – Seattle Japanese Garden


Books I have found:

What and, above all, how much does it take to lead a fulfilling life? A house, a car, a boat? Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus had it all, but they also had to forego a lot of things: free time for friends and themselves, attention to their own health, freedom for neglected passions. Little by little they have changed their lives and have learned that it doesn’t take much for a happy life. Based on five pillars – health, relationships, passions, inner growth and willingness – they show your way to a more meaningful, fulfilling life and how you can actually get more out of life with less. They do not give classic tips for clearing out things – they are already there far too often – but show how you can gently approach a minimalist, reduced lifestyle in order to create space for the really important things.

Another white space.

Lecture by Kurt Höretzeder

In keeping with the theme of the symposium, I would of course also like to talk about a white space – but not about the white space, but about a white space. Another white space. – One who has nothing to do with the unprinted parts of a surface and also nothing to do with the spaces between or within the letters.

But at the same time, of course, everything has to do with the unprinted parts of a surface and with the spaces between or within the letters, just different. This white space is more of an idea, a project. It can be understood as a graphic project as well as a social one in the broadest sense, something that is just emerging in Innsbruck – and a little beyond that. It has already left its first traces here and there. – And at the same time, of course, hardly any. This white space is there, visible and tangible. And at the same time he’s not there. – As with the “real” white space too.

It all started with a little book sometime in the late 1980s. It was on a pile of books and magazines in the anteroom to the darkroom of a printing house.

I leafed through it briefly and then put it back again before I disappeared (or better: had to disappear) for hours behind the repro camera and so in the realm of darkness. – Months later I had to go through the pile and separate the useful from the useless. Since the book in question had meanwhile been swallowed up by the growing pile and apparently nobody was interested in it, I decided that this little book was obviously of no value to the printer. So it found me.

Even then I only read it carefully later, including the sentence: “On every printed matter, the printed and the unprinted area interacts.” – To be honest, I couldn’t imagine much about it. What is supposed to “work together” on a large scale? – But, and this is perhaps even more important: I haven’t forgotten this sentence either. Again and again it came to my mind, in the most varied of places: in front of the proverbial blank paper that lies in front of you in search of a conceptual approach, an idea.

This sentence also came to my mind with an unfortunately much too small advertisement with way too much text, where, after the final artwork (of course in the adhesive fold), another, incredibly important note had to be placed. – Just where?

Both cases mark extreme points: here the white space as a blank sheet of paper, for a designer, so to speak, the existential, creative scope for his activity; and there the white space as a leftover, as a residual area, which the client, who is difficult to satisfy, naturally does not want to see unused. –

Somewhere in between begins what is called “visual design”. And without ever remembering a specific moment, over time an idea of ​​what this sentence “On every printed matter, the printed and the unprinted area interacts” could mean. The word “white space” does not appear in the little book if I am not mistaken. But it is present in many places.

White Day

White Day in East Asia is March 14th, which can be understood as an alternative to Valentine’s Day.

In certain Asian countries such as Japan, South Korea or Taiwan – unlike in Europe – girls and women give gifts to boys and men on Valentine’s Day – mostly with chocolate – as an expression of affection and love. On White Day, the men thank the women with a present, usually in the form of chocolate, sweets or other small gifts. Nowadays, the counter-gifts can be much more valuable for couples.

The day was launched at the suggestion of a pastry chef in 1977 and was first celebrated as Marshmallow Day in 1978. The idea was picked up by various confectionery manufacturers and massively advertised over the years. Meanwhile, this holiday is firmly anchored in the public consciousness. White Day got its name from the fact that the companies addressed mainly concentrated on white confectionery (white chocolate, marshmallows) as gifts, as the color white stands for luck.

Kenya Hara

“The concept of emptiness (utsu / emptiness), more precisely that of hollowness (karappo) is one these communication techniques. As soon as
People get in contact with each other, Do not throw information at each other one-sidedly, but usually make yourself a picture of their counterpart. Successful Understanding does not depend on how convincing an argument is, but rather how we listen to our counterparts. That is why people over the course of the History started to look out for something
To make communication usable, that resembles hollow vessels. Other than signs which in their meaning in a certain way for example, function unsurpassed in their simplicity Symbols like the red disk of the sun
the Japanese flag or a cross like large, hollow vessels that contain every image that people can absorb make of them. Under the concept of
The huge, empty rooms also fall empty of tombs or churches as well as teahouses or gardens. That got me initially moved to do something about the Write emptiness. But while I’m at it worked, I got on the trail of white.
On the tip of the spade that I use dug me through the subject of emptiness, lay suddenly the concept of white. Such as the word vacuum also has a deep meaning gripping relationship with emptiness – it came to me
like an object around which I mean Digging for the Void wouldn’t get around. So I decided to myself first of all to try something about
to write the tip of a spade before I do would write something about the void. If you’ve read this book, you can it happens that you don’t know anymore will simply be seen as white. The is a sign that you are a fine one
graduated perception developed to have. Presumably, what is really white suddenly becomes even brighter for you appear. The more sensitively you perceive white, the more sensitive you will become Differentiate shadows.”

– Kenya Hara, White

Effect of the color white

Anyone wearing white clothes is considered an optimistic, careful person. However, too much white can also appear cold and distant. Many white walls and objects in your apartment visually enlarge the room and appear tidy.

The color white can have a calming and harmonizing effect.
It ensures freshness in the apartment and can provide new ideas and inspiration.
White has a structuring and clarifying effect both in the home and in the mind. Some clear or white gemstones, such as rock crystal, provide clarity of thought.
Anyone wearing something white looks confident, neat and determined. A white blouse or shirt for the interview can play your cards.
White is also used in advertising to convey clarity and structure, but also determination and cleanliness. A “pure” white font is more attractive to the customer than a black “dirty” slogan.
However, too much white can also appear a bit cool and bland. The neutrality of the color, in excess, may appear sterile and cold.
Do not exclusively use the color white and use small splashes of color so that you do not appear sterile and aloof in your clothing.

Japanisches Design ist weiß

“Es unterscheidet sich jedoch grundlegend von der europäischen Version der Einfachheit, da das minimalistische japanische Design nicht das Ergebnis des rationalsten, funktionalsten Designs war“, sagt Kenya Hara, der japanische Grafikdesigner, der am besten für seine künstlerische Leitung für die Japaner bekannt ist Marke MUJI. In seinem Buch „Design Japanese“ fährt er fort: „Für die Japaner war es eine bewusste, strategische Materialisierung von„ Nichts “. Es war ein sorgfältiger Prozess, jedes einzelne zu eliminieren übermäßiger Schnickschnack, um ein leeres Gefäß zu schaffen, gleichzeitig ein Vakuum, aber mit einem starken Schwerpunkt, zu dem das Bewusstsein und die Kreativität der Menschen hingezogen werden. “ Hara behauptet, dass eine solche Ästhetik in Japan einzigartig ist, und nennt sie eher “Leere” oder “Kanso (schnörkellos, einfach und sauber)” als “Einfachheit”.

Weiß Als Designkonzept

Weiß als Designkonzept Design ist die Kontrolle von Unterschieden. Bei der Arbeit an unzähligen Projekten wurde mir jedoch klar, dass ich die Bedeutung nicht aus den großen, sondern nur aus den ersten, kleinsten Unterschieden herauswebte. Das ergibt einen viel feineren Wandteppich. Besonders mit der Fülle an Farben auf den Straßen und der Möglichkeit, Hunderte und Tausende von Farben in der Pfanne auf dem Computer frei zu manipulieren, bin ich weniger begeistert von der unkomplizierten Verwendung von Cole, wenn ich die erforderlichen Materialien auslege, die Farben sind in Ordnung geraten, bevor ich es überhaupt merke. Natürlich sind Farben wunderbar. Monochrome Fotos sind wunderschön. voll, aber wie trostlos würden wir uns fühlen, wenn die Farbe von der Erde verschwinden würde? Ich würde auch nicht sagen, dass künstliche Farben hässlich sind. Tatsächlich bin ich neidisch auf das Talent einiger Leute, eine Vielzahl von Primär- oder lebendigen Farben großzügig zu verwenden. Und ich sehe die Möglichkeiten in der Welt des Farbcomputers, in der es möglich ist, Farben in einer virtuellen Realität, die das Gefühl des realen Lebens nicht enthält, rein zu manipulieren. Und natürlich meide ich bei meiner üblichen Designarbeit auch keine Farbe. Ich bin weder ein Designer, der Weiß mag, noch einer, der keine Farbe verwendet. Als professioneller Grafikdesigner verwende ich natürlich Farbe. Wenn ich das tue, ist es jedoch ein Bewusstsein für seine Funktion oder weil es eine Emotion darstellt, nach der ich suche: das Rot der Notruftasten, Markenfarben, an die man sich erinnern muss, farbcodierte Indizes … Aber wenn es keinen besonderen Grund dafür gibt, finden Sie keine zusätzlichen Farben auf meinem Designtisch. Ob es ein Hightech ist oder ein natürliches Material, ich schaue immer auf die Farbe des Materials selbst. Dabei wurde mir allmählich Weiß bewusst. Weiß ist eine Farbe, aus der die Farbe entkommen ist, deren Vielfalt jedoch grenzenlos ist. Wenn ich auf ein wirklich gutes Weiß stoße, habe ich das Gefühl, dass die in meinem Gehirn gespeicherte Sammlung von Sinnen um eins zugenommen hat. Weiß ist nicht nur eine Farbe. Weiß muss als Designkonzept bezeichnet werden. – Kenya Hara “Designing Design”

Grenzen für Weiß

Spätestens beim Thema Kunstdiebstahl wird einem bewusst wie groß dieses Thema ist. Nun gilt es sich auf einige wenige Aspekte von dem Thema zu fokusieren. Immerhin wäre selbst ein kleiner Teilbereich genug um mehrere Arbeiten darüber zu verfassen.

Als eines der wichtigsten Themen hat sich der “Weißraum” im bereich der Typografie herausgestellt.

Arten von Weißraum

Mikro-Weißraum und Makro-Weißraum

Mikroweißraum ist der Raum zwischen den kleinen Elementen wie Buchstaben, Textzeilen, Absätzen, Symbolen und Schaltflächen.

Der Makroweißraum hingegen ist der Abstand zwischen größeren Elementen wie Textspalten und Grafiken. Er bezieht sich auch auf Polster und Ränder.

Passiver und aktiver Weißraum

Es gibt eine andere Möglichkeit, den negativen Raum danach zu kategorisieren, wie er Aufmerksamkeit erregt oder nicht.

Passiver Weißraum ist der Raum zwischen kleinen Objekten, der unbemerkt bleibt. Die Designer verwenden es, um Texte zu erstellen oder Absätze oder Symbole anzuordnen. Obwohl es unbemerkt bleibt, wird dieser weiße Raum dort absichtlich auf sehr subtile Weise hinzugefügt, damit das Auge das Design / den Text leicht lesen kann.

Im Gegenteil, der aktive Weißraum wird verwendet, um die Aufmerksamkeit eines Benutzers auf sich zu ziehen und bestimmte Elemente wie Überschriften, Logos oder Grafiken hervorzuheben.