Chapter 6: Time, Space, and Time‐Space
Time as well as Space
- Organization of time
- Shape of time‐space prisms
- Time space constraints
- Elastic space
The Organization of Time
Obligatory time: used to do necessary things such as eating, personal hygiene, sleeping and
Discretionary Time: used for things, which you can choose to do or not to do
o About 2/3 of your time is spend doing obligatory activities and the 1/3 is spent on
o The notable thing about the structure and quantity of time we have is that it is a fixed
quantity: we cannot make more time.
The Arrow of Time
Arrow of time: Simply means that you cannot go backwards, sideways, or remain stationary in
time as you can do in space. You can only move forward in time.
o Time not only has quantity, but it has direction
The arrow of time constrains when you can be where in space, and leads us to the related
constructs of the time-space totality, time-space prisms and time-space paths.
When we add arrow of time to space, we get time-space totality – it’s within this time-space
totality that we all must function
Can be represented by a 3D cube, whose vertical axis is calibrated in time (0-24hrs) and whose
other two horizontal axis are calibrated in space.
o Therefore, the vertical axis represents the arrow of time and the horizontal axes
represent the spatial dimension.
The most usual use of the time-space totality is to calibrate the time with space axes to
encompass your daily routine – also called activity space, focused on home, with work,
recreation, and shopping locations.
The time-space cube is a useful tool for understanding the possible range of people’s behaviour.
Other tools also have been developed to analyze people’s behaviour in time and space, these are
the time-space prism and the time-space path.
- Figure 6.1 Time Space Totality pp. 140 Time‐Space Prisms
As with the time-space totality, we start the time-space diagram with time on the vertical axis and
location (here call “stations”) on the horizontal axis.
While we all start the day facing our time space totality cube, we can only gain access to a very
small piece of that cube called the time-space prism.
The extent or size of the prism, the opportunities potentially open to us, are controlled by the
friction of distance – our means of overcoming the friction of distance and moving through the
Two qualities of these idealized prisms are important:
1. The slope of the lines comprising the prisms reflect the speed at which the friction of
distance can be overcome, hence the size of the resulting prism and the number of
opportunities available (in space)
o The steeper the line, the slower one moves in space (smaller prism, less
o The shallower the line the faster one moves (larger pri