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Space Syntax Lab Seminars: Autumn 2023 - Summer 2024

23 May 2024–06 June 2024, 4:00 pm–5:00 pm

Image: Differences in address-level centrality in Bradford, UK, by Dr Kimon Krenz.

This academic seminar series features researchers sharing their findings, discussing their ideas and showing work in progress from The Bartlett's internationally renowned Space Syntax Laboratory.

Event Information

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Organiser

Dr Kimon Krenz

All events in this series will be held on Zoom. Check the schedule for dates and registration links.

About

The Space Syntax Lab Seminar series brings together researchers and students to share their work at the intersection of architecture, urban space and society with a particular focus on space syntax theory and methods. It is hosted by The Bartlett’s internationally renowned Space Syntax Laboratory. The series features a mixture of invited international speakers, UCL researchers and PhD students providing diverse viewpoints on how we understand, analyse and design both buildings and cities.

Starting in 2022, the Space Syntax Laboratory began to invite expressions of interest from researchers who wish to present their work as part of the seminar series. Individuals interested can apply using the following online form.


Schedule

05 October 2023 | 16:00 | Dr Sheep Dalton

Embracing Organic Patterns to Make Sustainable Neighbourhoods

Abstract

One fundamental question that has long perplexed the field of sustainable urban design pertains to the possibility of 'designing' neighbourhoods. In other words, does the spatial layout of an area influence social interactions and community cohesion? How can we make walkable neighbourhoods without understanding what makes neighbourhoods? In the pursuit of spatial sustainability in urban areas, a pivotal aspect involves the analytical study of neighbourhoods. A critical prerequisite for this endeavour is the precise definition of their geographic regions. Historically, surveys of neighbourhood extents have yielded numerous haphazardly sketched polygons, thereby posing significant challenges for researchers in consolidating these boundaries into a coherent and representative entity. In response to this issue, various methods have been proposed over the years to tackle this complex matter. This seminar focuses on the latest research findings concerning neighbourhood boundaries, encompassing practical survey techniques and investigative approaches. In addition, the seminar will present and compare five distinct methodologies. Through the exploration of the underlying reasons behind these outcomes, valuable insights are gained. Such insights can significantly contribute to informing future algorithmic developments, thereby enhancing the efficacy of space syntax in comprehending the lived experience of neighbourhoods and its correlation with space and urban form. Ultimately, this research fosters a more authoritative and academic understanding of sustainable urban design and its implications on social dynamics within neighbourhoods.

Biography

Dr Sheep Dalton is a distinguished member of the space syntax community, recognized for his prolific contributions to the field. He is a Reader in computer science at Northumbria University and is a member of the Syntax North group. Dr Dalton has been a trailblazer, playing a pivotal role in shaping the early landscape of analytical software, including groundbreaking tools such as 'Axman,' 'Spacebox,' 'Meanda,' and 'Webmap@home,' Collaborating with Prof Ruth Dalton, Dr Dalton's work has influenced the trajectory of space syntax theory, particularly in relation to incorporating angularity as a key factor in spatial analysis. He has further extended this understanding by delving into the mathematical foundations of integration in isovist fields and the benefits of stochastic isovists. Dr Dalton's doctoral research was focused on comprehending and uncovering the intricacies of neighbourhoods with spatial representations, employing local synergy and intelligibility measures.

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19 October 2023 | 16:00 | Prof Akkelies van Nes

Measuring the Degree of Permeability of the Main Route Network With Angular Step Depth Analyses

Abstract

In this contribution, a new space syntax analysis method is presented for analysing the degree of permeability in the main route network of towns and cities. First, a presentation is given on the methodological development of the various approaches taken until the present day. Then, a description is given of how this new analysis method can be used to conduct a permeability analysis of a main route network using the DepthmapX software. Finally, this method is applied to 25 different cities around the globe. As it turns out, the method presents an objective way in which to identify the foreground network in built environments and to measure the degree of permeability or connectivity to the background network.

Biography

Prof Dr Scient. Akkelies van Nes is working at the Department of Civil Engineering at the University College Bergen She was the chairwoman of the 5th International Space Syntax Symposium held in Delft 2005 and for the 13th International Syntax Symposium in Bergen. Van Nes has been leading and involved in several international research projects related to mobility and network characteristics, such as revealing the relationship between space and energy use for transport, space and crime in neighbourhoods, street life, urban centres and economic development, applying space syntax in regenerating urban areas, developing theories on the relationship between urban space and urban sustainability. The core of her research activities is developing and applying various spatial analysis tools on built environments on various scale levels and testing them on various socio-economic data, results from other research, and energy data.

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02 November 2023 | 16:00 | Besnik Murati

Exploring the Philosophical Background of Space Syntax: A ‘Trialogue’ of Hillier, Kant, and Deleuze 

Abstract

In his 2008 paper ‘Space and Spatiality’ Bill Hillier – the pioneer of space syntax – makes a surprising appeal to the transcendental empiricism of Gilles Deleuze. Intriguingly, he does so at the expense of the transcendental idealism of Immanuel Kant. Since this is Hillier’s only ever reference to Deleuze, but not to Kant, this paper unpacks the point Hillier was seeking to make by referring to Deleuze by means of bringing Hillier and Deleuze into dialogue through the mediation of Kant. After explaining Kant’s philosophical project and reviewing Hillier’s interpretation of Kant’s concepts used in the appeal, I explore next how the intrinsic and configurational nature of space in social processes in space syntax theory might be said to have a Kantian origin. The paper sheds a critical light on the philosophical influences at work in the development of space syntax theory and research programme as a basis for sketching several areas of philosophical enquiry on the materiality of space in the genesis of cognition and living structures in which space syntax theory has a contribution to make. Above all, it brings Kant the central figure in the philosophical influences on the development of space syntax theory: no substantial dialogues with Deleuze can be established but on Kant's ground. Only trialogues there can be.

Biography

Besnik Murati is an entrepreneur and PhD researcher at The Bartlett School of Architecture. His research interests concern the metaphysics behind the phenomenon of life: the origin and genesis of living structures with a focus on space as immaterial organiser of matter, and syntax as the universal working principle of primus motor. In this he engages with space syntax theory, Kant’s and Deleuze’s philosophy, and Biosemiotics. His thesis explores the shared syntax in the genesis of living structure. Besnik completed the integrated Bachelor and Master programme at the Prishtina University, Kosova (2007), before completing the Space Syntax: Architecture and Cities MRes at The Bartlett (2018). He is the founder of the Horizons group – urban/architectural design consultancy firm and is a shareholder/investment analyst in the Prime Group Construction – real-estate and construction company in Kosova.

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16 November 2023 | 16:00 | Prof Alain Chiaradia

Spatial Design Networks Analysis: From Productivity to Mega Project Evaluation, a Design Perspective

Abstract

Design encompasses a large-scale planning vision articulated through concise socio-economic objectives and broad outlines of mega-infrastructure networks. Such schemes' values and macro evaluation rarely include the microscopic aspect of walking mode. Using an urban design and transport unifying theoretical framework, the wider economic impact of transport and multi-modal complex network centralities analyses motivated by human spatial cognition, we identify the causal effect of transport network centralities on productivity measured by gross value added. We use a similar approach to evaluate a large-scale planning vision which can be considered a design concept. We show how omitting the walking mode gives more importance to the road network. We discuss the walking mode omission as a model misspecification and recent changes, and we discuss the curse of multidimensionality from a design perspective. A brief comparison with a four-stage transport demand modelling is made.

Biographies

Prof Alain Chiaradia is Deputy Head of the Department of Urban Planning and Design, Associate Professor at the University of Hong Kong, Faculty of Architecture. He is the Programme Director of the Master of Science in Urban Design and Transport. His research interests focus on the understanding and design of: high densities integrated Transport Interchange Hubs, i.e., TOD volumetric urban design and transport, as well as large-scale transformative mega infrastructure projects. He was the lead co-inventor of 3D sDNA.

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30 November 2023 | 16:00 | Dr Stephen Law

Plausible Counterfactuals to Explain Urban Imagery Models

Abstract

We propose a new form of generative counterfactual explanation designed to explain the behaviour of computer vision systems used in urban analytics. We illustrate the merits of our approach by explaining computer vision models used to analyse street imagery, which are now widely used in GeoAI and urban analytics. Such explanations are important in urban analytics as researchers and practitioners are increasingly reliant on them for decision-making. We perform a user study that demonstrates our approach can be used by non-expert users, who might not be machine learning experts, to be more confident and to better understand the behaviour of image-based classifiers/regressors for street view analysis. Furthermore, the method can potentially be used as an engagement tool to visualise how public spaces could plausibly look like, for example, by adding more vegetation, increasing density or with a higher integration. The limited realism of the counterfactuals is a concern which we hope to improve in the future.

Dr Stephen Law is a Lecturer (assistant professor) in Social and Geographic Data Science and a Turing Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute and the course convenor for the MSc Social and Geographic Data Science in UCL Geography. His research interests span space syntax, geographic data science, computer vision, spatial network science, urban economics, urban planning and urban design. He has over 10 years of international consultancy experience in Urban Planning(space syntax limited) and has completed his PhD at the Space Syntax Lab on the value of spatial configuration.

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14 December 2023 | 16:00 | Fabiana Dicuonzo

The Liminal Museum: A Meeting Place Enhancing the Learning Experience

Abstract 

This research aims to explore the educational potential of museum architecture, looking at the study, design, and spatial layout of liminal spaces concerning museums' architecture and education. Drawing on concepts of 'in-between' and 'threshold' developed respectively by architects Aldo van Eyck and Herman Hertzberger, the liminal spaces are investigated in terms of their social role and pedagogical potential as meeting places. Architecture plays a primary role in affecting learning visitors’ experience, but still, there is a lack between museums’ programmatic interest in education and the architectural effort of space development. Therefore, to study the embedded relationship between liminal space and education in museums, the research draws on theoretical and spatial concepts Hertzberger, Giancarlo De Carlo and Rosan Bosch used to conceive and build educational spaces. The findings are based on multiple case studies of the Serralves Museum in Porto, the MAXXI Museum in Rome and the MAS - Museum aan de Stroom in Antwerp. A qualitative analysis is supported by spatial analyses of the liminal spaces, namely, studying the transition between the urban realm and the building. The aim is to develop a set of design guidelines that take into account a more nuanced understanding of museum education in liminal spaces.

Fabiana Dicuonzo is an Italian architect and curator based in Porto (PT). She is currently a PhD student in Museology at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities (CITCEM - Transdisciplinary Research Center "Culture, Space and Memory"), University of Porto, winner of the FCT studentship. Her professional practice focuses on conservation and exhibit design, working as a consultant in European Cooperation Projects for Apulia Region - Department of Tourism, Economy of Culture and Valorization of the Territory. She is the co-founder of Antilia Gallery and PROFFERLO Architecture (PT-UK). She holds a Master in Architecture from the Polytechnic of Bari (2015) and a diploma from the Postgraduate School in Architectural and Landscape Heritage, “Sapienza” University of Rome (2018). She deepened museum studies by participating in three online courses at the NODE Center for Curatorial Studies (Berlin) and the advanced Course Exhibit at the MAXXI, Rome. Since June 2023, Fabiana has been part of the COST Action Toolkit of Care.

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18 January 2024 | 16:00 | Liam Bolton

Mapping the Spatial and Temporal Dimensions of Rooftop Housing in London

Abstract

Airspace development, or rooftop housing, has recently been promoted by the government and industry as one solution to the lack of urban space and the rising demand for new homes in London. However, there is a severe lack of critical research on airspace development in London. The objective of this research is to provide a critical analysis of techniques for mapping airspace development in London. It evaluates the strengths, limitations and applications of existing techniques for mapping airspace development. It also demonstrates new techniques and tools such as Space Ratio, the Space Ratio Chart and the Fresnel Map for the purposes of mapping and measuring airspace development. In the process, this research provides a spatiotemporal analysis of rooftop housing between 2008/09 and 2018/19 in Greater London. It additionally analyses the socio-economic and environmental implications of airspace development. As the amount of urban space decreases, it is imperative that practitioners facilitate high-quality and sustainable upward densification through airspace development. This research will be an original contribution to the literature that could be utilised to improve the design and planning of airspace development in London.

Specialising in data visualisation, GIS and text mining, Liam Bolton is a PhD Architectural Space and Computation student at The Bartlett School of Architecture. He has collaborated with The Bartlett School of Architecture, The Royal Geographical Society, The Leeds Institute for Data Analytics and BBC News Labs. As an ex-Founder of Student Data Labs, he managed Innovation Labs which aimed to teach practical data skills to university students while tackling civic problems. He has given talks at The Bartlett School of Architecture, The Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA), The Government Digital Service and the launch of the Leeds City Dashboard.

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01 February 2024 | 16:00 | Dr Vinicius Netto

Decoding Segregation: Navigating a century of segregation research across disciplines and introducing a bottom-up taxonomy

Abstract

Segregation is a widely recognised phenomenon with profound implications for societies worldwide. From political science and gender studies to anthropology and urban studies, it has garnered considerable attention across numerous scientific fields due to its multifaceted nature. However, what makes segregation such a far-reaching phenomenon? In fact, how many forms of segregation exist? Have the different disciplines engaged in segregation research brought all its facets to light?

This presentation brings a systematic exploration of the landscape of segregation research spanning over a century. We scrutinized 11,126 documents available in the Scopus database to unveil several compelling findings: (1) exponential growth in the identification of segregation forms over time; (2) an increasing diversification related to growing attention to subtler facets of segregation due to combinatorial work and increasing interdisciplinarity and intersectionality in research; (3) the evolution and structure of the field in hierarchies and clusters of forms identified in the literature, revealing trends, persistencies, and shifts in the centrality of segregation forms over time; (4) the time and location of first publications of segregation forms, along with contextual variations across countries and world regions; (5) path dependencies in the historical and geographical shaping of segregation research; and (6) the structure of knowledge production in citation and collaboration networks. Aiming to contribute semantic organisation to an increasingly complex field, we explore such findings to introduce a bottom-up taxonomy of segregation forms, the first comprehensive effort of the kind.

[authors: Vinicius M. Netto, Kimon Krenz, Maria Fiszon, Otávio Peres, Desirée Rosalino and Renato Saboya]

Biography

Vinicius M. Netto investigates cities as networks of segregation, information and cooperation. He proposed the approach to dynamic segregation in daily urban trajectories in 1999, published during his MPhil studies in Brazil. He then developed a theory of the interplay of communication and space, addressing how the semantic meaning of buildings and urban space supports communication as a catalyst for interaction systems during his PhD research under Bill Hillier's supervision. Subsequently, Vini and colleagues devised a method aimed at disentangling the effect of buildings on the social life of streets and neighbourhoods from the effect of street networks. His current focus is on the morphogenesis of built form and the information signatures of such configurations as expressions of the diverse spatial cultures that shape cities. He also investigates how societies structure and enact urban configurations as a means to combine seemingly disorganised individual actions into coherent large-scale cooperation systems — a critical recursive process in how societies manage tendencies towards entropy. Vini is a Principal Researcher at the Research Centre for Territory, Transports and Environment, University of Porto (CITTA | FEUP), Portugal. He is the author of The Social Fabric of Cities (Routledge) and over a hundred articles and chapters.

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15 February 2024 | 16:00 | Dr Davide Schaumann

Toward Human-Building Convergence

Abstract

Buildings have been traditionally considered static containers for human activities. As such, they do not meet the dynamic and ever-evolving needs of their inhabitants. As buildings become more technology-enhanced, they could potentially be transformed into intelligent and adaptive systems that are aware of – and proactively respond to – the dynamic needs of their inhabitants. Toward this end, Dr Schaumann will discuss new methods for simulating and analyzing human behaviour in buildings to inform architectural design decisions as well as real-time operations strategies in different kinds of workplaces, including hospitals and workplaces. The projects presented will demonstrate how AI, Simulation, and Extended Reality (XR) can support a systematic transition toward human-aware environments that improve people’s well-being, operational efficiency, and space utilization.

Biography

Davide Schaumann is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Architecture & Town Planning at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology where he directs the Intelligent Place Lab (IPL). He conducts research at the intersection of Architecture, AI, and Human Behavior science to develop novel approaches for intelligent and adaptive built environments that foster efficiency and human well-being. This research agenda integrates Dr. Schaumann’s interdisciplinary background in Architecture (BSc and MSc from Politecnico di Milano, Ph.D. from Technion) Computer Science (Postdoc at Rutgers University), and Business/Entrepreneurship (Postdoc at Cornell Tech). Dr Schaumann published more than 40 papers in established scientific journals and conferences and won a prestigious postdoctoral fellowship as well as 2 best paper awards in leading conferences.

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29 February 2024 | 16:00 | Ruth Nelson

Housing Inequalities: The Space-Time Geography of Housing Policies.

Abstract

Changes in policy over the last thirty years, particularly within advanced economies, have allowed for increased financialization, deregulation and globalisation of housing. What differentiates real estate from other financial markets is that it possesses a salient socio-spatial geography. Housing inequalities are often framed as an outcome of macroeconomic structural changes or as a product of local socio-spatial conditions, but the interactions between the two are less understood. Using nearly 20 years of historical data across a range of socio-spatial dimensions from the City of Rotterdam, we develop a descriptive methodology to connect the analysis of national housing policy phases in the Netherlands with local socio-spatial trajectories of neighbourhood change. Whilst nationally there has been an increasing policy preference for home ownership associated with a narrative of social upliftment, the spatial-temporal analysis reveals that these policies have failed to disrupt local neighbourhood hierarchies with the wealthiest neighbourhoods in Rotterdam benefitting the most from capital gains and increased rates of home ownership. Overall, the findings emphasise that national housing policies, in their current form, fail to address widening housing inequalities by neglecting to consider the varying socio-spatial characteristics and needs of different neighbourhoods.

Biography

Ruth Nelson is an interdisciplinary PhD researcher in the Centre for Urban Science and Policy at TU Delft in the Netherlands. She has worked in corporate, consulting and research roles in South Africa, the UK, Mexico, Australia and the Netherlands, which has enabled her to develop diverse perspectives on a range of important global issues such as urban inequalities and social inclusion. Ruth has both a Master's in Architecture and Space Syntax and possesses a diverse set of skills ranging from technical data analyses to strategic design and scientific communication. She is passionate about supporting the development of more equitable policies and design solutions by harnessing the power of digital technologies and spatial data science through both consulting and research.

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14 March 2024 | 16:00 | Dr Chrystala Psathiti

A Temporal Socio-Spatial Approach to Lower Secondary School Buildings in Cyprus

Abstract

The study of school environments has traditionally focused on more technical terms, while the conclusions regarding the relationship of a school’s spatial configuration with its users’ behaviour and perception are relatively sparse. Thus, this seminar seeks to reveal the role of spatial layout and agency in socio-educational practices, with the main research questions being: How do the spatial layout and agency of lower secondary school buildings built in Cyprus after 2000 impact the socio-educational school life and users’ perceptions? The study presented in this seminar has examined the ten most recent lower secondary schools in Cyprus. Methodologically has combined a cross-case comparative approach that has examined all ten (10) schools of the sample with an in-depth approach that has inspected two schools of the sample to achieve a more holistic understanding of space usage patterns and social agency in schools. The seminar will elaborate on the following findings: 1. Genotypical patterns among schools due to the design guidelines given by the authorities. 2. Various spatial factors (i.e., the school’s density, school’s porosity, school’s integration, classrooms’ visual mean depth) influence school users’ perceptions and behaviours. 3. Teachers’ sense of school community, school’s ability to cope with changes, sense of facing control issues in schools as well as students’ positive attitude towards school. The session concludes with a discussion on the way the insights of this study could be used for the design of schools with an overall positive school climate.

Biography

Dr Chrystala Psathiti is a researcher and practitioner exploring the relationship between architecture and human behaviour. She is currently a Lecturer in Architectural Design & Theory at Neapolis University Paphos and the founder of Splace Architecture. Trained as an architect, she holds a Diploma in Architecture from the University of Cyprus, an MSc in Spatial Design: Architecture & Cities from The Bartlett, UCL London and a PhD from the University of Cyprus, funded by the National Scholarship Foundation and Youth Board Cyprus. She was also a visiting researcher at The Bartlett School of Architecture and has been involved in European Research Projects such as Twin2Expand, KAEBUP, EPUM and Innovaroom. The two major themes of her past and current research are exploring the relationship of spatial design with human spatial behaviours in various building types, and how architectural design praxis is related to architectural research (evidence-based design).

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25 April 2024 | 16:00 | Dr Tamir El-Khouly

Creative Discovery in Architectural Design Processes

Abstract

This study aims to provide empirical evidence on the nature of the architectural design process by investigating the following question: What role do procedural and contextual activities and affordances play in the generation of creative insights, critical moves, and the formation of design concepts in the reasoning process? This study demonstrates how these activities can be detected using the linkograph framework (a method used to analyse and visualise the creative process), allowing for a better understanding of the conditions that foster innovation and creative thinking.

Biography

Dr Tamir El-Khouly is an associate professor at The American University in Cairo, specialising in architecture, digital communication and building information modelling. He holds a PhD in Design Studies from The Bartlett School of Architecture and has conducted research at prestigious UK institutes. His research interests include design studies, architectural computing, design thinking, BIM and graph theory.

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09 May 2024 | 16:00 | Dr Dounia Laouar

Do Urban Renewal Programmes Make Suburbs Safer? A Case Study of the Toulouse Urban Renewal Project

Abstract

This study evaluates whether urban renewal programmes (PRU) contribute to a safe environment for inhabitants through new urban residential forms. This is accomplished by an analysis of the evolution of urban structural forms and an assessment of people's perception of the urban environment following reallocation programmes.

People's perceptions of PRU and their impact on security were collected by a survey based on questionnaires and sketch maps. The successive configurations of an urban space are evaluated using a space syntax approach that highlights a series of structural, spatial and functional properties, and overall provides a reference for comparison with people's perceptions of the notion of security. The findings show that the quantitative figures compare very well with local people's perceptions of safety. In particular, it appears that areas with high occurrences of feelings of insecurity overlap and correlate with areas with high levels of concentration of social housing, and with the highest rates of poor households. Surprisingly, the results also suggest that accessible and visually controlled areas are relatively vulnerable and constitute the best locations for drug trafficking. Furthermore, density indicators have a minor influence on the perception of insecurity, and no impact on the perception of security.

Biography

Dr Dounia Laouar's research focuses on the analysis of urban network characteristics, spatial accessibility, and their connections with mobility, social inequalities, crime, and urban sustainability. She is an expert in spatial analysis tools, such as Space Syntax and Geographic Information System (GIS), and assesses their effectiveness on socio-economic data in Europe and North Africa.

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23 May 2024 | 16:00 | Prof Anjali Sadanand

A Socio-Cultural Reading of Houses in Chennai, India

Abstract

Research into the architectural character of houses can suggest how multicultural value systems, accelerated by the interchange between local and global influences, are expressed in changing needs and patterns of social behaviour visible in the spatial organisation of houses across communities and socio-economic backgrounds. The aim of this presentation is to study socio-cultural transformations in houses from the perspectives of four different communities – Brahmin, Chettiar, Christian, and Muslim.

The houses chosen for research are located in different socio-economic neighbourhoods in Chennai. An analysis of their spatial configurations will ascertain the extent to which culture has a role in determining spatial character, and identify significant characteristics or patterns that define each community spatially. The theoretical framework used for the analysis is space syntax from The Social Logic of Space by Bill Hillier and the analytic precepts enumerated in Decoding Houses by Julienne Hanson.

The research is longitudinal and analyses these houses as they have evolved from the post-independence era to the present. The research findings suggest that while the facades of all the houses are primarily modern and relate to a common aesthetic, internally they differ and display several spatial characteristics corresponding to community preferences. Their response to specific needs makes them individualistic, establishing customisation against the collective. In some cases, the house has evolved beyond merely providing shelter, transforming into a hybrid mixed-use entity where multiplicity overtakes conventionality, suggesting a direction for future research.

Biography

Dr Anjali Sadanand is an architect and interior designer currently working as a full-time Professor at MEASI Academy of Architecture, Chennai, India. She is an alumna of the School of Architecture and Planning (1982) and The Bartlett School of Architecture and Planning (1986). She received her PhD from Hindustan University in 2022. She has approximately 22 years of experience in the field and 12 years of experience in education. She has worked in reputed firms in India and abroad in the fields of architecture and furniture. She has participated in projects that deal with preserving colonial heritage in Chennai and has contributed to a book on the Raj Bhavans (Government Houses) of Tamil Nadu. Her research interests range from furniture and history to socio-cultural aspects of architecture. She has published in several journals and presented at national and international conferences. She is an academic member of ATINER.

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06 June 2024 | 16:00 | Prof John Peponis

Architecture and Spatial Cultures

Abstract

In this seminar, Prof John Peponis will introduce his new book Architecture and Spatial Culture, followed by a discussion on core chapters with selected peers.
Beginning with the premise that built space supports our daily habits and our membership of communities, organisations, institutions or social formations, Architecture and Spatial Culture argues that architecture matters because it makes the settings of our life intelligible, so that we can sustain or creatively transform them. As technological and social innovations allow us to overcome spatial constraints to communication, cooperation and exchange, so the architecture of embodied experience reflects independent cultural choices and human values.

The analysis of a wealth of examples, from urban environments to workplaces and museums, shows that built space functions pedagogically, inducing us to specific ways of seeing, understanding, and feeling, and supporting distinct patterns of cooperation and life in common. Architecture and Spatial Culture is about the principles that underpin the design and inhabitation of space. It also serves as an introduction to Space Syntax, the descriptive theory used to model the human functions of layouts. Thus, it addresses architects, students of architecture and all those working in disciplines that engage the design of the built environment and its social effects.

Biography

John Peponis is a Professor of Architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology whose faculty he joined in 1989. He develops analytical concepts and methods for the description of built space and the measurement of its human affordances and functions. He was a part-time member of the faculty of the National Technical University of Athens, 1992–2005. As a researcher and lecturer at The Bartlett/UCL (1978-1988), he was among the co‑creators of Space Syntax. He has collaborated with Kokkinou and Kourkoulas Architects since 1992 as an architectural consultant.

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More information

Image: Differences in address-level centrality in Bradford, UK, by Dr Kimon Krenz.