Temporal Dimensions in the Mediation between Machines, Humans and Spaces






time-based design, adaptive spaces, liquid architecture, mobile media, robots


This paper questions the need to introduce into the design methodologies and education, the temporal dimension in architectural design. It questions the need, to introduce methodologies and protocols to be able to define, design, and measure the variables involved in the actuation of spaces.

While in the history of design, spatial qualities have been central in the search for techniques and tools, temporal qualities have entered, with the advent of the digital revolution, as qualities capable of deforming, compressing, reconfiguring spaces and supporting new ways of living. The paper investigates various time-based approaches developed by scholars and designers from different disciplines, and the consequent proposals that have been developed so far.

The directions that time-based design has explored concern:

    1. Spaces: Digital technologies of algorithmic design/production have made spaces and components adaptable in order to guarantee kinetic or sensorial performance over time through integration with robotic actuators.
    2. Experience: Interactive technologies have made possible a continuous adaptability of spaces to human needs, through a continuous dialogue between humans and spaces via machines and computer systems that are able to formulate proposals for the customization of spaces.
    3. Behaviours: Communication technologies, which have changed people’s behaviours and their interaction with spaces. The spaces have been imbued with distributed digital media hosting the temporalities of real life. The times of ‘online’ life have introduced new configurations of experiential space.

The paper explores the directions taken by design that can be considered time-based, to identify the cardinal points and the new paradigms for contemporary spaces.


How to Cite

Barbara, A. (2021). Temporal Dimensions in the Mediation between Machines, Humans and Spaces. SPOOL, 7(3), 5–14. https://doi.org/10.7480/spool.2020.3.5488





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