UCL Centre for Digital Humanities


City-craft and Statecraft: The role of data in spatialising the Myth of Venice

29 January 2020, 5:30 pm–6:30 pm

UCLDH Seminar

Using spatial and historical data, this lecture will explore the spatial transformation in the city of Venice

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to









IAS Forum, G17
South Wing, Wilkins Building
Gower Street
United Kingdom

Using spatial and historical data, this lecture will explore the spatial transformation in the city of Venice, tracing a pattern of evolution from an island commune to a state, then a republic and an imperial power. Parallel to these transformations was the creation of an ideal image of the city as a cohesive and stable community, in the process of achieving prosperity through the political virtues of republican governance and communal action. 

The 'Myth of Venice' coalesced from a loose collection of popular beliefs, which in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries became formalised through works of art, civic ritual and official historiography. Analysing the urban structures of Venice and the prevailing institutions of Venetian life, the lecture will relate urban form, governance, social resilience and creative invention in understanding Venice and its Myth as the most serene Republic.

All are welcome and there will be drinks and discussion after the presentations. Attendance is free but we kindly ask that you register for the event

This event is organised by UCLDH, which is part of the UCL Institute of Advanced Studies.

About the Speaker

Sophia Psarra is Professor of Architecture and Spatial Design at the UCL Bartlett School of Architecture, and Associate Editor of the Journal of Space Syntax

Her research work focuses on the relationship between space and form together with the social meanings they afford, the architectural and social theories associated with this subject, and the ways in which spatial characteristics interact with patterns of use, shaping spatial navigation and experience. This has been at the centre of her PhD studies and subsequent work culminating in the publication of two books (The Venice Variations - Tracing the Architectural Imagination, UCL Press 2018 and Architecture and Narrative - The Formation of Space and Cultural Meaning, Routledge 2009)