Dark Interior Space


‘The fear of enlightenment in the face of darkened spaces, of the pall gloom which prevents the full visibility of things, men and truths. Those shadowy areas, the fantasy-world of stone walls, darkness, hideouts and dungeons, the precise negative of transparency and visibility.’ (Vidler, A. 1994. p. 168)

Darkness has always been associated with evil, and light with good. Why is this? Why have we shunned darkness within our interior space?

‘Light constitutes space in that it creates bright and dim zones, enabling the physical perception of space.’ (Taylor, M. 2006. p. 180).

Our shunning of dark interior space is based on a fundamental level on a sensual fear: we cannot define dark space with vision, our dominant sense, and therefore it becomes an unknown space, a question that we fear to answer.

The unnerving feeling we often get when we enter a dark space is a result of our reduced ability to locate ourselves within our environment. When you experience complete darkness you have no visual reference for your own position in space; you are forced to confront your own interior, trapped within your psyche.

‘Body image plays a crucial role in the subject’ s capacity to locate itself in space. Groz argues that space is not a pre-existing container into which the body projects itself. Rather, it is formed around the reflection of an imaginary anatomy.’ (Rice, 2006, p. 51).

My artifact looks to question our understanding of dark space, how we feel about it and the qualities it has. Through the introduction of light we are able to perceive material qualities in dark space, to explore and experiment within it a new.


Taylor, M. Preston, J. (2006). Intimus: Interior Design Theory Reader. Wiley-Academy: London
Rice, C. (2007). The Emergence of the Interior: Architecture, Modernity, Domesticity. Routledge: Great Britain Vidler , A. (1994). The Architectural Uncanny: Essays in the Modern Unhomely. MIT Press: Massachusetts


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