A Timeline in Space

Thien Le
5 min readFeb 27, 2022


Goal: The goal of my project is to create an experience that shows the timeline of my life in physical space. Through the passing of time and how that affects memory and our understanding of those memories, I want to create an installation to provide a simple yet reflective and though provoking experience of what it means to be human: to feel and understand events that happened in the past. The content of the installation will be of my life, but the concept of telling a story through space and exploring how to show memory is the ultimate goal.

Final Deliverables:

  • 3 stills of the space rendered in Rhino. (entrance, space, interaction)
  • Isometric view of entire space
  • Parti Diagram showing visitor flow
  • 2–3 videos created in After Effects prototyping the experience of someone standing in front of the projection.

Proposed Idea

The information at the start of the exhibition, presented on screens, projected onto a material such as a wall or cloth, will be blurry to show that that memory is further back in time therefore I don’t have a very clear recollection of it. The interaction will begin once a sensor detects that a person is there and it will slowly begin to focus to reveal the information. The later the information is in my life, the faster it will take for it to focus and be revealed to the visitor.

Initial rendering of the space in Rhino

My next steps are to finish modeling the surfaces in which the information will be displayed on. I’m not exactly sure how to do this yet or what I want it to look like so that will take further exploration into seeing what the experience calls for and what is possible to do in Rhino.

I started rendering different views of my space and my main goal for right now is to get the lighting correct. After getting the lighting done, I will go back in and change some of the panels so that it displays information.

POV 1 renders
Entrance POV renders
Interaction POV renders

Overall, I like the angles of the camera and render of all of the POV except the interaction. I feel like there is a lot going on so I will try to experiment to see what angle I should capture the rendering at. I think right now, I like the lighting for all of them but I may go back and make things brighter later on.

Next Steps:

  • Create graphic for entrance wall and place on the first wall visitors see.
  • Create graphic that depict information. I’m currently not sure how I would do this technically but conceptually I think my idea is still to have the words focusing. I also want to include color and have it play the same role as the words where the colors are not as bright and vibrant early in the experience but gets more vivid as visitor continues.
  • For the video prototype I will start on that once I have a better understanding of my concept.

Because my information is not place based but rather emotion based, I think that that is harder to visualize. How do I visualize this information in addition to the words using pictures or diagrams? Color has different associations to different people and its use is too abstract for my purpose.

Possible Ideas:

  1. Collage of images and photographs created by me, showing different emotions. A bunch of images that portray the same emotion on one panel.
  2. Images and transparency. Smaller images make up a larger image. One concern is that it is not emotive enough.
  3. Portray emotions through the organization of lines.
  4. Portray emotions through expressive markings
Organization of lines visualization
Expressive Drawings

After doing some experiments, some questions I asked myself were, how abstract should I portray the emotion? Because the content is about my life, I have stronger feelings to it than other people therefore I am able to understand and express those emotions. This means that my visualization of the emotion should be understood quickly and easily by other people as well. Because of this, I think that the lines are too abstract for people to understand. The expressive drawings quickly express emotion I think, and they provide a more interesting interaction because visitors can have an interpretation of the emotion that is not as abstract as the lines.

Final Renders:

Interaction POV
Walk Through POV
Isometric View of Exhibit
Prototypes created in After Effects