Time in the Shell

Temporality as a Mode of Spatiality in Japanese Understanding


  • Fatma Ipek Ek Yaşar University, Department of Architecture, Turkey


Time is perceived and lived within a different understanding in Japanese culture, which brings new possibilities and existential modes for the construction of space. Time follows a cyclical/circular structure of temporality and ensures impermanence with its transience, and permanence of transience with its repetition. Both past and future are intertwined within the culture of spatial design as well as within the language. Language and philosophy of living reflect the architectural and aesthetic approaches for building a temporal spatiality. The phenomenological generators of these spatiotemporal atmospheres echo through the key concepts such as ma, mu, and kū, as well as through the aesthetic conceptions of, for example, mono no aware, shakkei, wabi-sabi, and hanasuki. It may be claimed that the love of imperfect and impermanent beauty is the gene of the Japanese spatial atmosphere in the traditional context. In this framework, this paper examines three projects of Japanese spatial design that reflect the cyclical understanding of time and the aesthetic conceptions connected to it: the Summer Solstice Light-Worship 100-Meter Gallery and the Winter Solstice Light-Worship Tunnel / Light Well designed by Sugimoto Hiroshi, and the Benesse House Oval designed by Ando Tadao. These three examples perfectly demonstrate the unique way in which Japanese culture understands and expresses time and space. Based on these projects, the paper also argues that temporality is one of the most powerful modes of spatiality in Japanese culture, which aims to weave a shell for time to exist in space.


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How to Cite

Ek, F. I. (2023). Time in the Shell: Temporality as a Mode of Spatiality in Japanese Understanding . UOU Scientific Journal, (06). Retrieved from https://revistes.ua.es/uou/article/view/25808