About Space Syntax

The Space Syntax field of research is grounded on the pioneering work of Bill Hillier, Julienne Hanson and colleagues, developed in the early 1970’s at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London. Space Syntax is commonly seen as a set of methods to analyse urban and architectural spaces of all kinds and sizes, and to foresee their functional outcomes. However, it is also much more than that. It is an overarching theory and research framework, based on rigorous geometrical and mathematical descriptions and quantifications of human spatial systems and on insightful inferences about their social meaning and impact, which provide a coherent and robust form-function model of the human built environment.

This embracing, but also always precise, character of Space Syntax, has made it a field of research that has become relevant to disciplines other than architecture or urban planning and design. Indeed, Space Syntax has found application in fields as diverse as sociology, psychology, archaeology, criminology, urban geography, transport planning, economics, risk management, information technology and computer science.

Today, the Space Syntax research community is highly diverse, integrating members from all these fields, coming from all over the world. Besides its pure research applications, Space Syntax’s capability of providing reliable forecasts of the functional outcomes of architectural and urban projects has also made it an obviously useful practical tool, used worldwide by a growing number of consultancy and professional practices.

The international Space Syntax symposia were initiated in London in 1997, and have been held every two years in cities around world since then: London (1997), Brasilia (1999), Atlanta (2001), London (2003), Delft (2005), Istanbul (2007), Stockholm (2009), Santiago (2012), Seoul (2013), London (2015), Lisbon (2017) and Beijing (2019). Space Syntax symposia provide the fora where the Space Syntax research network comes together to present and discuss new work and to debate the future of their discipline.