Spatial design

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Spatial design is a relatively new conceptual design discipline that crosses the boundaries of traditional design specialisms such as architecture, landscape architecture, landscape design, interior design, urban design and service design as well as certain areas of public art.

It focuses upon the flow of people between multiple areas of interior and exterior environments and delivers value and understanding in spaces across both the private and public realm. The emphasis of the discipline is upon working with people and space, particularly looking at the notion of place, also place identity and genius loci. As such, the discipline covers a variety of scales, from detailed design of interior spaces to large regional strategies,[1] and is largely found within the UK. As a discipline, it uses the language of architecture, interior design and landscape architecture to communicate design intentions. Spatial design uses research methods often found in disciplines such as product and service design, identified by IDEO,[2] as well as social and historical methods that help with the identification and determination of place.

As a growth area of design, the number of spatial design practitioners work within existing disciplines or as independent consultants.

The subject is studied at a number of institutions within the UK,[3][4] Denmark,[5] Switzerland,[6] and Italy[7] though, as with any new field of study, these courses differ in their scope and ambition.[8]

Ultimately it can be seen as "the glue that joins traditional built environment disciplines together with the people they are designed to serve".

During the COVID-19 pandemic, spatial design became an important aspect of reshaping collective use of urban space.[9] and thinking about access and egress.[10]


  1. ^ SWRA – The Draft Regional Spatial Strategy
  2. ^ IDEO Environments Design Archived 2009-12-06 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Spatial Design: Interior & Landscape BA(Hons) - University College Falmouth
  4. ^ BA (Hons) Spatial Design - London College of Communication, University of the Arts London Archived 2014-02-19 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Master's Programme: Spatial Design - The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, Design and Conservation
  6. ^ Bachelor Spatial Design: Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts – Lucerne School of Art and Design
  7. ^ MSc in Interior and Spatial Design at the School of Design of Politecnico di Milano
  8. ^ "Modern design guide". Monday, December 23, 2019
  9. ^ Mehta, Vikas (2020-11-01). "The new proxemics: COVID-19, social distancing, and sociable space". Journal of Urban Design. 25 (6): 669–674. doi:10.1080/13574809.2020.1785283. ISSN 1357-4809. S2CID 225096639.
  10. ^ Gueorguiev, Manol; Anagnost, Adrian (2022-07-01). "Pandemic Design: Art, Space, and Embodiment". Design Issues. 38 (3): 5–19. doi:10.1162/desi_a_00688. ISSN 0747-9360. S2CID 250148288.