Higher Education

Shaping Space: The Dynamics of Three-Dimensional Design, 3rd Edition

  • Paul Zelanski University of Connecticut, Storrs
  • Mary Pat Fisher University of Connecticut, Storrs
  • ISBN-10: 0534613934  |  ISBN-13: 9780534613938
  • 288 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 1995
  • © 2007 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $179.25



As an introductory guide to three-dimensional design and sculpture, SHAPING SPACE offers an engaging, in-depth exploration of aesthetic and practical considerations of working three-dimensionally. By presenting both conventional artistic wisdom and new approaches that stretch and transcend the old definitions of what can and should happen in a work of art, SHAPING SPACE challenges students to encounter ideas that have never occurred to them and to become more aware of the limitless potential of shaping space. Now in full-color throughout, the text explores the latest changes and applications in the field including computer-aided and computer-made sculpture, craft techniques, multicultural art, art as social and political commentary, architecture and industrial design conceived sculpturally, public sculpture, sculpture parks, and performance art. To help introduce and broaden three-dimensional awareness and technical skill, suggested studio projects provide structured assignments that relate directly to textual materials.

Features and Benefits

  • The text offers an in-depth exploration of the aesthetic and practical considerations of working in three dimensions.
  • The sequence of the book follows a logical progression from fundamentals, to elements, to experimentation with different construction methods. For maximum flexibility, however, each part and chapter is self-contained, allowing the instructor to assign material in any order.
  • Discussions of technique cover a range of media, including assorted fibers, ceramics, and even virtual design using the computer as a tool.
  • A wealth of studio projects (in Part Four) allows instructors to choose the projects that they feel are most effective in introducing and broadening three-dimensional awareness and technical skill. The studio projects�structured assignments that relate directly to textual materials�allow students to experiment constructively with media and methods with which they may not be familiar.
  • Extended descriptions from the artists themselves�both historical and contemporary--demonstrate the artist's intent and offer students insight on the design process.

Table of Contents

1. Experiencing Three-Dimensionality.
2. Working in the Round.
3. Organizing Principles of Design.
4. Form.
5. Space.
6. Line.
7. Texture.
8. Light.
9. Color.
10. Time and Movement.
11. Found Objects.
12. Addition and Manipulation.
13. Subtraction.
14. Casting.

What's New

  • A new full-color presentation of illustrations from a variety of media help concepts come to life for students. New images include works by Anniken Amundsen, Marina Abramovic, Anamorphosis and Eva Rothschild, Judy Chicago, Anish Kapoor, Dieter Roth, James Turrell, and Bill Viola.
  • Of the over 300 images in the text, 85% are in full color.
  • The text features a new design making the text more accessible to today's students.
  • The authors introduce more culturally diverse examples and artists to better reflect the realities of the global art world today.
  • The Third Edition features an increased discussion of kinetic art, ephemeral and conceptual work, and works incorporating video and sound. Examples of video art and installations explore this new direction of three-dimensional design.

Efficacy and Outcomes


This textbook is the most comprehensive, well rounded, well-balanced and clear introductory text available for teaching traditional 3-D design and introductory sculpture classes. The text is full of surprising pearls of knowledge, interesting anecdotes, and has well thought out connectivity of issues.

— George Bauer, Savannah College of Art and Design