Call for abstracts: Drawing Time


This call departs from the observation that landscape is subject to time, in many ways. Processes of growth and decay, seasonal manifestations, disrupting forces of wind and water, the way humans inhabit and use space, urban development. Designed interventions in landscape therefore necessarily deal with time. Design proposals refer to future situations, bridging time spans that may go up to decades. Landscape architecture deals with a wide range of dynamic phenomena, ranging from the garden and its seasonal aspect to large scale strategies for climate change. Landscape design searches for grip on instable systems and varying conditions. By foreseeing this dynamic, by exploring scenarios, by pointing at if-then relations, by working on a sense of robustness, or by framing change as an attractive factor, designers work with time. Exploring such issues in drawings in several stages of the design process strengthens the position of time aspects in the outcome. However, design drawings often follow a conventional scheme in which the ‘what’ and ‘where’ are dominant over the ‘who’ and ‘when’. Yet we see a change in the last decade, and a theoretical and practical basis to incorporate time in the design process is emerging. This Spool issue builds on a small but expanding body of theory and best practice.

Obviously, time as a crucial aspect of design, design processes, and the representation of time, is not unique to landscape architecture. Spatial design disciplines could take advantage of ways in which other disciplines work with time, from animation to cartography to information design. And other disciplines could be informed by ways in which landscape architecture works with nature, accepting that its very building material is subject to forces not in control by design.

This Spool issue discusses the importance of time in design processes, and its reciprocal relation to representation. Although the discipline of landscape architecture is given as a starting point, Spool urges to widen up the field towards urbanism, architecture, product design, information design, art, and the theoretical reflection on the topic. The key question is how strategies for visualizing ideas in these fields address time aspects, and thus inspire resilient, adaptive designs, and enable to share knowledge between the partners in design processes. This refers both to design processes and to design products; to drawing as a verb and drawing as a noun.

The issue aims to evoke an exchange between theory and practice, contributing to a theoretical body on the representation of time as well as its application within design practice. We welcome two types of contributions: theoretical contributions and visual essays. Theoretical contributions may discuss traditions in, techniques of, and taxonomies of representation in relation to time, or the importance of time and its representation in design processes. Visual essays are experimental design proposals or artistic expressions that explore relevant ways of representing time. We encourage to expand the conventional approaches. We encourage contributions from different fields on the specificity of landscape, such as the change of seasons, varying weather conditions, erosion, growth, decay and so on. Moreover, we invite contributions that document exercising of time drawing in student work, as we see the notion of time and its representation as fundamental in design curricula.


Authors can submit the abstract/draft/visual essay at

Under ‘Comments for the Editor’, provide the name of the issue (SPOOL Landscape Metropolis # 8; Drawing Time) and whether you submit a paper abstract or a visual essay.

Paper submissions will be subject to a double-blind peer review process. Visual essay submissions will be subject to a single blind peer review process. After the selection procedure, the authors will be advised on how to improve their submission.

In order to make the reviewing process run smoothly for both authors and reviewers, reviewing will take place in two stages. First an extended abstract of the planned paper/draft for the visual essay will be reviewed. Any profound disagreements on the content can thus be tackled in an early stage, and the author will not need to rewrite a completely finished paper/essay. The preliminary review will result in advice on how to proceed. The same reviewers will review the subsequently submitted paper/essay.


Abstract paper/visual essay submissions: 4 August 2021

Editors' selection: 25 August 2021

Reviewing: 25 September 2021

Full paper/revised visual essay submissions: 26 November 2021

Reviewing papers/visual essays: 20 December 2021

Revised paper/visual essay submissions: 10 February 2022

Publication date: April 2022

Abstract requirements


The extended abstracts, with a maximum of 1200 words, should be presented in English and should include the following information:

  • background (research question, relevance)
  • research method
  • argumentation
  • conclusion

Provide at least 5 key words. Abstracts should not include any references to the authors. Please add a separate file with the title of the work, name of the author or authors, qualification, affiliation or institution they represent (if applicable), address and e-mail address.

Visual essays

Visual material can be accompanied by a concise text in English, 500/1000 words long, to provide an introduction and a substantive context for and guide to the visual essay. Each figure, image or other visual component may in addition have a title and/or caption of up to 100 words. Existing and archival images may be used, although authors must submit evidence of appropriate permissions with their essays.

The heading must include the title of the work, name of the author or authors, qualification, affiliation or institution they represent (if applicable), address and e-mail address. Provide at least 5 key words.

If you have any specific question, please do not hesitate to contact the issue editors:

Noël van Dooren             

Inge Bobbink                    

Saskia de Wit