Apartment Therapy on Emptiness

Apartment Therapy on Emptiness

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Maxwell Ryan
Aug 6, 2004
Enjoy the weekend. Around New York, many people are no longer tethered to their computers. They are cleaning up for the weekend, on their way to a train bound for Long Island or the Jersey shore. They have a busy weekend ahead of them. We have already had a long week. We bit off too much this week and are in need of respite. So we have decided to lay down the computer, even though a few posts have yet to be written. We want to leave one good thought buzzing out there on the netwaves, one good thought about the value of not doing something. In America we do a lot. We work hard. We make things and put them out into the world. If you don't produce, you are not doing well. Stimulation, production, and moving things along are what its all about. Interior design is largely about the same thing. We "decorate," we fill the space, and then we say the house it done. Clutter becomes a big issue. Now, consider the Japanese tea house. The Japanese tea house was not only designed around where the sun would come in or where furniture would go, but especially around where the shadows would fall. The designer worked just as hard for the shadow as the light. To design for the shadow is to work at leaving something out, fully realizing the greater beauty in an empty or an unlit space in the greater scheme of things. To think about the shadows requires not doing too much, restraining one's hand from the urge to fill, to do, to act. Look at the photo above. Look at how empty the garden is. It is designed for tranquility. For this you need emptiness. See if you can design some this weekend. MGR
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