A blank space—a silence, pause, interstice, gap, in-between, opening, punctuation, negative space—can be deliberately or incidentally devoid of content.
A space left blank is as much an invitation to notice the void and the structure that surrounds it, as it is a question as to why and how they are perceived. Such absence can remind us to seek out conscious or unconscious intentions hidden in plain sight.
Philosophies and worldviews that acknowledge the importance of ‘absence’, ‘emptiness’ or ‘nothingness’ consider everything to be relational, fluid, dynamic and ‘in-between’, rather than the binary dualism that linger from Cartesian constructs.
Do we pay these blank spaces enough attention, as integrated parts of design practice and design research?
A blank opening can be an invitation for exploration, or pointing out areas in need of alternative interpretations, knowledge, and ways of being.
What resistance is there to clearer sensemaking, obscuring the messy co-existence of multiple views?
What are omitted or unnoticed dimensions that are invisible, ambiguous, tacit, or formless, or dismissed as passive, paradoxical, incoherent?
How ready and receptive can design be to reconsider values and patterns we follow in our everyday living?
Research conferences are by character such openings, until they are given content by contributing researchers. Looking to the number and seriousness of current and emerging societal and environmental challenges there is a need for allowing many undirected thoughts and research results to communicated and discussed.
Nordes 2023 intends to be such a place. A conference shaped by the research results, avenues, strategies and concerns of its community.