top of page

Transformation of the Aspect

Transformation of the Aspect in Context of Space and Time

Adnan Aksu, Esra Nartkaya

Published Apr 14, 2021

In the historical process, concepts of space and time have undergone radical changes between objectively or subjectively perceived discussions. It is concluded that in these debates going on to the present day, no objective meanings can be imposed on these concepts excluding material processes. Scientific studies have been effective in this result. According to modern physicists in general terms, neither the time nor the space is present before the matter. Along with the information age, by some recent physicists, “information” has been put forward primarily, beyond matter, space and time. From the historical perspective, an evaluation will be made of space and time, which are the basic concepts associated with human existence. These concepts have been transformed by scientific and technological developments from day to day.

From the point of view of the historical process, before the physical environment was fully understood by the constant time and space coordinates, the world was described as a number of “places” isolated from each other. While the time is regarded as being linear in the West, other civilizations base time on a static concept, similar to the classical antiquity. In ancient times, the concept of time was ”timeless time,” expressing cyclical and eternity. The distant past in classical antiquity represented an ideal that would return at a future time [1].

According to the Roman concept “genius loci”; every “independent” has its “genius”, and it was his guardian spirit. This spirit gives life to people and places and determines their character or essence [2]. To construct was therefore considered to be an action that is respectful to existence in relation to the essence and spirit of the earth. In parallel, according to Heidegger [3] to be “on the earth” was also to be “under the sky”, and he describes the earth as the area of existence and says that the land "situates" humans.

From the ancient times to the Renaissance, the external space is mostly mythological or spiritual; it was grasped weakly, unknown geographies often being occupied by an external authority, heavenly hosts, or other figures from legends or imagination. The geographical discoveries made with the Renaissance provided a great deal of information about the external world, the presence of perspective, and the development of cartography began a new era in the perception of space. When the time was measured and considered linearly in the past and the future, the concepts of time and space were accepted in an objective framework [4].

Space and time discussions naturally changed the perception of architectural space. According to Giedion [5], there are three stages of architectural development; first, the architecture of Egypt, Sumer, and Greece-space was brought into being by the interplay between volumes, second, throughout the period from the Roman Pantheon to the end of the Eighteenth Century- the interior space was synonymous with hollowed-out interior space, third, at the beginning of this century with the optical revolution that abolished the perspective- unknown nested situation of inner and outer space. As Giedion explained, with the revolution in science, views about space-time continue to change currently.

Because of scientific studies; while the concept of classical time is expressed as objective, measurable, modern time concept is “relative” (time-space). According to the theory of relativity; all beings and the physical events of all beings are relative. Einstein replaced “absolute” space and time with new definitions that depend on the state of motion of an observer. While the theory of relativity changes the perception of space and time, it is possible to observe its effects in many works such as Picasso. Time was used as a 4th dimension in some works. While the motion is associated with existence, the motion was expressed as time and space combinations.

On the discourse that space and hence the perception of space existed with the time, with the description of Theo van Doesburg [6], “new architecture” should take account not only space but also of the magnitude time. With the unity of space and time, the architectural exterior will take on a new and completely plastic aspect (Four-dimensional space-time aspects). In this way, the architecture will achieve a more or less floating aspect in opposition to natural gravity. These productions of new space, unlike traditional buildings, are far from being monumental, heavy, and static; these buildings are light, practical, ephemeral, and swift. As Milan Kundera says, the degree of slowness is proportional to the intensity of memory. The criticism of the modern age is also discussed in relation to speed and forgetfulness.

In the information age, the concepts of time and space transformed into an information-space-time concept with increasing speed in every field. These changes were from locality through globality in the process. Information is also used to mean facts or knowledge. As a result of the current discussions that the universe is based on information, it can be said that the concepts of classic “space” and modern “time- space” are replaced by information-time-space.


Heynen, H., Architecture and Modernity: A Critique, The MIT Press, Massachusetts, 1999. 

Norberg-Schulz, C., Genius Loci Towards A Phenomenology Of Architecture, Rizzoli New York, 1991. 

Heidegger, M., Building Dwelling Thinking Poetry Language Thought, Harper & Row, 1971. 

Harvey, D., The Condition Of Postmodernity, Blackwell Publishers Massachusetts, 1989. 

Giedion, S., Space, Time and Architecture, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1954. 

Conrads, U., Programs And Manifestoes On 20th-Century Architecture, The MIT Press, Massachusetts, 1971.

bottom of page