Exercise 6 – Spatio-Temporal Mapping 2
Focus on the same environment as last time. Create a spatio-temporal map of how the environment is used by all of its inhabitants. Create quadrants or use some other (perhaps topographical) technique to break down the entire space into roughly comparable units. Observe and track movement through the space to see how it is used. Note timing, sequences, and durations of occupancy. It may be very helpful to note the activity in which individuals are engaged at each data observation mark. Your goal is to watch how the space, itself, constrains the possibilities of how individuals use and move through it.
First priority: where is everyone at your observation mark? Second priority: for how long do they stay there? Third priority: what are they doing while they're there? If you can get all of this, you may be able to discern paths of movement or zones of transit v. places that are occupied for substantial durations of time, as well as clues of why individuals are where they are, given the activity they seem to be engaged in.
Think like a choreographer. Break the space into front, middle, and back (depth) areas as well as bottom-middle-top (vertical) and left-center-right (horizontal) zones. You may find yourself adapting the number of areas you try to track as the exercise continues, finding it easier to pinpoint individuals’ locations across a different number of units.