How Are Your Designs Perceived?
In the Context of Industrial Design
The design element could work alone. In most cases, it involves several elements.
It could include dominant, subdominant, and subordinate volumes. Dominant volumes are the largest shapes with the most character; they are the center of attention. The more minor subdominant form complements the dominant and enhances the shape. The most minor subordinate form adds more 3D volume and completes the shape.
-Source: Rowena Reed Kostellow
Direct Surface Contact
For a balanced relationship, volumes complete each other. While small forms come together with more dramatic larger forms, each of them has its weight and is important.
However, It does not have to be a complex visual solution. Primitive forms with direct surface contact (without transition in between) will do the job too. It usually communicates a strong sense of craftsmanship and is mathematically precise. That minimal design requires a higher standard for tooling and CMF.
Many internal components exist to make a product functional, such as a motor, PCB, battery, etc. Usually, the internal parts are kept hidden so that the user interface can stay clear and undistracted. There are also sophisticated transitions between the components and the outer surface, which could be for ergonomic or aesthetic reasons.
Solid is a matter of presence, and Void is the absence of it.
Solid is perceived to be heavier in mass. Voids are scooped out and formed by the enveloping surface. It is negative space in visual design, and like a pause in music, speech, writing, which is significantly powerful to play a counterbalancing role.
Gestalt optical illusions illustrate how our perception creates a shape that is not in fact there. When human beings look at a painting or a web page or any complex combination of elements, we see the whole before we see the individual parts that make up that whole. This idea of seeing the whole before the parts is Gestalt.