J-term course proposal

Instructor Name
Tim Stonor

Program/Affiliation
Loeb Fellow

Email
tstonor@gsd.harvard.edu

Previous teaching experience
1996-1998 Course Director, Master of Science in Architecture, the Bartlett, University College London.
Current Honorary Senior Lecturer, the Bartlett, University College London.

Course title
Introduction to Space Syntax theory, technology and practice

Course description
Space Syntax is an architectural theory that investigates relationships between spatial layout and a range of social and economic phenomena including patterns of movement, public space use, land use and crime distribution. Built on quantitative analysis and computer technology, Space Syntax provides a set of evidence-based techniques for the analysis of spatial configurations of all kinds, especially where spatial configuration seems to be a significant aspect of human affairs, as it is in buildings and urban areas. Applied in both academic research and practice, Space Syntax treats cities and buildings ‘space first’, that is as the network of spaces that people use and move through.

Key research findings
Research using the Space Syntax approach has shown:

– how movement patterns and flows in cities are powerfully shaped by the street network

– how this relation shapes the evolution of the local centres and sub-centres that makes cities liveable

– how patterns of security and insecurity are affected by spatial design

– how spatial segregation and social disadvantage are related in cities

– how buildings can create more interactive organisational cultures.

Global reach
Pioneered at University College London (UCL), the Space Syntax approach is taught in over two hundred universities worldwide. A growing number of planning and design organisations, both private companies and municipal planning departments, applies the techniques in practice on building design and urban planning projects. Theory and technology are being developed in academic and commercial centres throughout the world.

Research areas & design applications
The Space Syntax approach was conceived in the 1980s as a tool to help architects simulate the likely effects of their designs on the people who occupied and moved around in them, be they buildings or urban settlements. It has since grown around the world in a variety of research areas and design applications. It has been extensively applied in the fields of architecture, urban design, planning, transportation and interior design. Space Syntax techniques have also been used for research in archaeology, criminology, information technology, urban and human geography, anthropology and cognitive science. Space Syntax provides a set of planning and design principles as well as a toolkit for the generation and evaluation of ideas.

Prerequisite
None.

Enrollment limitations
None.

Dates & class frequency
On two half-days, January 12th & 13th.

Time preference
10am to 1pm or 2pm to 5pm.

Room type preference
Classroom for the first half-day.
Computer “cluster” for the second half-day.

Equipment needs
None although students can bring laptop to use instead of computer in cluster.

Anticipated outside funding requests
None.

Staffing implications
Some technical assistance may be required to configure the computer cluster.

Submitted by
Tim Stonor

Date
18th October 2010

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