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rain coming off a building
Integration of the present in the form of a tropical downpour: Mekong House, Pava Architects, Chiang Khan, Thailand, 2022.

The contrast between the priority given to time in people’s everyday lives and that given to space in the design of built environments is explored in a new book, Embodied Time: Temporal Cues in Built Spaces, authored by a University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa professor.

cover of a book
Book cover

School of Architecture Professor Kevin Nute hopes to correct the imbalance between time and space in building design by demonstrating how built environments can be designed to evoke recollections of the past, interactions with the present, and anticipations of the future.

Nute’s interest in time in built spaces developed in Japan, where he spent much of his early career researching and teaching at the University of Tokyo and Muroran Institute of Technology.

“My interest in time in built spaces began when I was a student. It was reinforced by Kevin Lynch’s landmark book What Time is This Place, and confirmed by the study of traditional Japanese architecture,” said Nute.

In spring 2022 the contents of the book were taught as an elective in the Bachelor of Environmental Design program.

Although only published on March 1, Embodied Time: Temporal Cues in Built Spaces has been shortlisted for a 2024 Architectural Book Award. The judges for the award noted that, of the six titles shortlisted, “we were struck by the fact that Nute’s was the only polemic; he really wants to change how architecture is practised and brings his own exercises in neuropsychology into play, to illustrate the interplay of buildings and notions of temporality.”

Embodied Time: Temporal Cues in Built Spaces can be purchased on Routledge and Amazon.

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