"We live in an environment existing of substances, a medium, and surfaces: substances being more or less material, of a gaseous atmosphere as medium, and of surfaces separating those substances from the medium. We don’t live in space." (J.J.Gibson; The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception; Houghten Mifflin Company, Boston 1979)
As perception-psychologists see it, perception of "space" is merely an idea of unfolding three coordinates and in fact is not tenable. We perceive space differently.
Our environment exists of substances, medium, and surfaces. The medium being made of gravity, heat, light, sound, volatile substances. We are exposed to chemical and mechanical effects, contacts, and oscillations. The medium, filled with energy, immersing the observer in a sea of energy. A fraction of this sea of energy can function as stimulus and provide information.
We take our environment/surrounding as granted and given. We have become used to it. We perceive surroundings as a space filled with atmosphere and objects. Being designers, we deal with these objects of space. Through perception of surroundings, one gains a sight of the environment (each creature having its own specific view), which directly influences the perception of the possibility of objects. Often, one analyses one’s own possibilities of designing objects, without actually noticing this influence our environment has.
Besides the medium air, through which we move, which envelopes us, transmitting light and smell, surfaces surround us. We see surfaces, come into contact with them. They create spaces and are borders at the same time. Ultimately, it is surfaces that are designed, creating spaces and objects.
Our experiment is the renunciation of these borders. Thinking of an environment without surfaces, the substances and the medium merge into one another. The thought of "penetrating" into substances, like a microscopic eye, is fascinating. Imagination allows condensing the medium air. Alert senses identify wind as resistance. Change of temperature is just as “space creating” as reinforced concrete. Rain, snow, and so forth condense the medium and make it a pervading substance.
Klement Wassner, Stefan Moritsch, University of Applied Arts, Vienna 2002