The biomatrix is a space-time continuum. Its activity and entity systems can be viewed from a spatial perspective (i.e. the configuration of the system at a particular moment in time) or temporal perspective (i.e. the change in the system over time).
The spatial and temporal perspectives are related to the structure and process perspectives of the biomatrix. Emphasis on the one or the other perspective depends on the observer and the purpose of the observation. There could also be a switch in perspective at different levels in the containing systems hierarchy. For example, from a societal perspective one perceives primary, secondary and tertiary education as structures in space that offer their services at all times. If viewed from the level of the individual, they become phases one moves through in the course of education. This emphasises the time perspective.
An activity system is an organised process. Although it is organised around a flow of mei in time, its organisation makes it a structure in space (i.e. physical or conceptual space). For example, the assembly line in a car manufacturing plant is a stable structure in space that is organised around the flow of parts assembled into a car. A focus on the process (mei flow) within the activity system emphasises time. For example, how fast the parts flow along the production line or how long it takes to cover the curriculum. One could also look at changes in the space-time organisation of the activity system as a whole and identify different stages in its development (e.g. from manual to automated assembly).
An entity system is a field of interacting activity systems. The pattern of their interaction is a spatial representation of the entity system (e.g. the organogram of an organisation, or the life plan of a person). The temporal perspective involves comparing the different states of the spatial configuration of the entity system at different points in time. This reveals stages of development in an entity system (e.g. from hunting-gathering, to agrarian, industrial and information society, or from a traditional hierarchy to a matrix organisation).
System analysis involves flipping between the time and space perspectives.
relevance for the change manager
Change can be seen from a spatial perspective (e.g. design of the system) and temporal perspective (e.g. managing the implementation of the design).