The Bartlett School of Architecture

Dr Sam Griffiths

Dr Sam Griffiths

Associate Professor

The Bartlett School of Architecture

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
1st Aug 2006

Research summary

Sam is Associate Professor in Spatial Cultures in the Space Syntax Laboratory at the UCL Bartlett School of Architecture. His research interests include: the spatial culture of industrial cities; sustainable suburbs and high streets; urban manufacturing; architecture as chronotope in realist fiction and historical writing and space syntax as an interdisciplinary research perspective in the humanities and social sciences. Sam has participated as Research Fellow and Co-Investigator in two EPSRC-sponsored projects into the relationship of the built environment to social sustainability in London’s suburbs. In 2012 he was awarded a twelve-month EPSRC Inclusions award to support ethnographic research into suburban walking tours. In 2017 he has been working on a collaborative research project with historian Dr Katrina Navickas (Herts) on the spatial culture of nineteenth-century political meeting places. In 2016 he co-edited (with Alexander von Lünen) the volume Spatial Cultures: towards a new social morphology of cities past and present published by Routledge. He is currently working on another book Writing the materiality of the urban past: cities and the topography of the historical imagination also for Routledge.

Sam currently leads two core modules on the MSc/ MRes Spatial Syntax: Architecture and Cities programme, one shared with MSc/ MRes Architectural Computing  and one on the BASc Arts and Sciences programme. He supervises a number of doctoral students in the area of urban spatial cultures.

Teaching summary

Sam currently leads on two core modules on the MSc / MRes Space Syntax: Architecture and Cities programme, Design as a Knowledge-Based Process (run jointly with MSc/ MRes Architectural Computing and Spatial Cultures. DKBP encourages students to engage in critical reflection on the different kinds of social, scientific, historical and philosophical ideas that constitute the design 'knowledge-base'. Spatial Cultures engages Hillier and Hanson's space syntax theory in an outward-looking interdisciplinary dialogue with with contemporary theories and topics in the social sciences and humanties. He also co-leads (in collaboration with CASA) the second-year undergraduate BASc module Understanding Cities and their Spatial Cultures. Sam supervises a number of doctoral students in the area of urban spatial cultures and has examined PhD theses both internally and externally.


University College London
Other Postgraduate qualification (including professional), Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education | 2011
University College London
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2008
London School of Economics and Political Science
Other higher degree, Master of Science | 1996
University of Sheffield
First Degree, Bachelor of Arts | 1994


Sam Griffiths read history at the University of Sheffield (1994) and International Relations at the London School of Economics (1996) where he was sponsored by the ESRC. He studied for a short spell at Oxford University (1997-8) before a period working in new media. His long-standing interest in the 'place of space' in urban history and the role of the built environment in social organization brought him to the Bartlett in 2002. Here he audited the MSc Advanced Architectural Studies (AAS) programme while embarking on an EPSRC sponsored PhD (2008) into the historical relationship between the urban built environment, cutlery manufacture and processional culture in eighteenth and nineteenth-century Sheffield. He was appointed Research Fellow in 2006, Teaching Fellow in 2008 and Lecturer in 2009 – completing the PGCLTHE teaching qualification in 2011. From 2009-2014 he was Course Director of the MSc Spatial Design: Architecture and Cities (before 2011 MSc AAS, since 2016 Space Syntax: Architecture and Cities) and from 2011-2014 MSc Tutor - Built Environment. From 2011-13 he edited the journal Urban Design International. He is currently on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Urban Morphology.