The significance of time in the design of a public landscape

Exploring accepted, experimental and relational dimensions of drawing time





Drawing Time, Timescaping, Public Space Design, Relational Landscapes, Landscape Perception, Sensory Landscapes, Geographical Perception, Aesthetic Experience


This paper revisits a built project to reveal a hidden and experimental ambition for a public space through drawing in time.

Behind the project’s initial inception lay the designer’s motivation to challenge, open and expand the consideration of time in the way in which public landscapes are invented, configured and received. As such, the project sought to attend both to the way in which time manifests as a design consideration through drawing and to the way in which time could be conceptually and experientially sustained in the afterlife of the completed work.

In the inevitable ebbs and flows of productivity and decision taking that ran through the project, the designer came to realize that the ambitions outlined above stretched beyond their client’s comprehension of what the project could and should be. Instead, an aspiration to design “in time” became subservient to the client and stakeholders’ focus on the material manifestation of the work as a visual object and to the project’s public reception when it was deemed “complete”. For the designer this meant that opportunities to expand design thinking into practices tied to the continuing and relational opportunities of the space remained disappointingly determinate and closed.

By revisiting the existing representations and by making new drawings that were more explorative and unburdened by the conditions of project delivery, new liberty was found, revealing a unique bond between drawing in time and the relational opportunities of the work.

How to Cite

Mackenzie, L. (2022). The significance of time in the design of a public landscape: Exploring accepted, experimental and relational dimensions of drawing time. SPOOL, 9(3), 91–110.




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