The value of empty space for design

Eunjeong Cheon, Norman Makoto Su

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemConference contribution

12 Scopus citations


We present a study on a group of people who, upon adopting a new lifestyle movement, have discovered and constructed alternative aspects of space. Drawing on 23 interviews with minimalists and participant observations of their Meetup meetings, we highlight the central role of empty space in their lives at home. Our findings show how empty space for minimalists emerge as a new, hitherto unknown space in the home and the ways minimalists seek to create, maintain, and stay sensitive to these empty spaces. Empty spaces for minimalists signify their achievements, exudes aesthetic appeal, and provide a sanctuary away from city life. We propose new opportunities for design based on our findings of empty space. We suggest that design should consider supporting the practices and values that revolve around the absence of artifacts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 2018 - Extended Abstracts of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Subtitle of host publicationEngage with CHI
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450356206, 9781450356213
StatePublished - Apr 20 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2018 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: Apr 21 2018Apr 26 2018

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings


Other2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2018


  • Alternative lifestyle
  • Empty space
  • Minimalists
  • Place
  • Space
  • Subculture
  • Value-sensitive design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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