Open Access
Kioumarsi, Niloufar
Graduate Program:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
June 21, 2016
Committee Members:
  • Felecia Davis, Thesis Advisor
  • Daniel E Willis, Committee Member
  • Alexandra Staub, Committee Member
  • Architecture
  • Time
  • Temporal design
  • Design method
  • Montage
ABSTRACT | Architects tend to let a spatial and physical way of thinking dominate their design process; however, if an architect can consider the temporal aspects of design as well as its physical aspects, then he or she will have a better understanding of people's relationship with the environment. This thesis introduces TD (temporal design) Plugin as a method for architects to consider temporal aspects of architecture. In this thesis, I have defined the temporal design in architecture as designing an architectural experience from the eyes of the spectator in space while considering as many details about the experience as possible. The TD Plugin was developed by using the results of the analysis of the application of montage techniques in three architectural projects. I argue that Le Corbusier montages ‘views and perspectives’, while Tschumi montages ‘layers of the experience’ (event, movement, space), and Koolhaas montages ‘program’. My thesis demonstrates that montage techniques helped these architects to pay more attention to temporal design. TD plugin meshes with existing design techniques. It is based on fragmentation of experience into sequences and episodes, and further designing these fragments in detail by using TD plugin table. The table provides a checklist of spatial and temporal features. The final product is a succession of the views and perspectives as one walks through the sequence. For an evaluation of the TD Plugin, a pilot-workshop where three participants learned about the method and designed an art gallery was held. The results showed that ‘sequence-based design’, and the ‘spatial features checklist’ encouraged temporal design. The participants agreed that the method had increased their sensitivity toward designing a real experience. They were satisfied by the foregrounding which happened in the process of fragmentation and assemblage of the episodes. On the other hand, they were not completely comfortable in using the table, which resulted in a drastic change in their design speed. To sum up, the thesis suggests a practical view toward the topic of time and architecture. Since time and space are connected in real experiences, this thesis proposes a design plugin which aims to help architects to better design the actual architectural experience in detail. In other words, the TD plugin assists architects not only in designing the physical dimension, but in getting them to realize the temporal aspect of architecture and incorporate this in their designs.