The Bartlett School of Architecture


Space Syntax Laboratory Research Seminar – Sam Griffiths

07 February 2017, 4:00 pm–5:00 pm

Image of newspaper cutting: Forthcoming Chartist Meetings

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The Bartlett School of Architecture


Room 5.04, 22 Gordon Street, London WC1H 0QB

Sam Griffiths:
Exploring the urban-scale distribution of political meeting places in Manchester c.1790 – 1850

This seminar reports on an experimental interdisciplinary collaboration between a social historian and social scientists in the field of architectural research. It examines the conceptual and methodological issues that arise from importing the formal analytical methods of space syntax and spatial analysis in GIS, into a research area defined in the disciplinary context of social history: politics and protest in early industrial Manchester.

The explorative phase of research involved the creation of a geo-referenced dataset identifying the location of meetings of a diverse range of political groups in Manchester c.1790-1850. The meeting-place data was extracted mainly from newspaper accounts and linked to spatial-morphological data derived from space syntax analysis of Manchester’s mid-nineteenth-century street network.

Analysing the structure of a historical street network enables historical research to describe the spatial, as well as the social, relationships of a city; in this case of political meetings. This collaboration is to be developed in 2017 with support from the Bartlett Architectural Research Fund, which will enable the extension of its chronological and geographical scope.

See the seminar series poster here