1 TU Delft, faculty of Architecture (NETHERLANDS)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 2384-2393
ISBN: 978-84-613-5538-9
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain
At present, there exists no regular training course where the Space Syntax method is combined with GIS, except at the European Master of Urbanism (EMU) course at TU Delft. The aim of the course is to underpin strategic regional design scenarios through spatial analyses and socio economic data provided by GIS. The course is a part of the third semester program named “Mobile Strategies” where it supports the design and strategy studio. The course is nested within the Department of Urbanism in the Faculty of Architecture.

The technology course consists of two parts. The first part consists of spatial configurative analyses using Space-Syntax method in order to understand the dynamic of spatial-society relation in built environments. Students learn how to use this technology-based tool to analyse the physical mobility network of built environments and its impacts on human behaviour, indicating socio-spatial problems in a systematic way. Moreover, identification of spatial potentialities for supporting future spatial intervention are investigated. GIS is taught in the second part on trying to relate socio-economic data on an urban regional scale. Using mapping and cluster analysis, the students learn to visualize, analyze and abstract information over the region in spatial terms. This collaboration between GIS and Space Syntax allows for a accurate view of spatial conditions on a regional metropolitan scale which would have been logistically impossible without these technological tools.

The use of Space Syntax and GIS in the design studio strengthened the analyses and strategic interventions objectives. In addition , the applications of these tools are used for exploring some extreme scenarios and project interventions related to mobility. Building upon existing GIS data and an axial map of the province South Holland, Netherlands allows the students (a group of 12 international students with little or no prior understanding of the region) to avoid time-consuming registrations and preparations.

At the end of the semester the students submit a report where they show the application of space syntax and GIS in their projects. In the report a demonstration and discussion of the analyses of design proposals before and after proposed interventions are carried out. Since students obtain input and evaluation during the workshops and exercises, students also discuss and reflect upon the results from their findings in the report. Finally, the students write critically about the method’s limitations and possibilities in relationship to the evaluation of their proposed model. The assignment consists of 3 parts; an analyses or research section, alternative solution section and evaluation of one’s design proposal part. The first two parts are done in groups of 3-4 people, while the last part is individual. The reports from two students will be used as an example on the outcomes of this course.

The paper will describe the context in which this innovative course takes place, the methods used and how the knowledge has been implemented and adapted by the students in their later works. This is a joint effort between the instructors and students to reflect and evaluate upon this exploratory method.

Space Syntax, GIS, Strategic Planning, mobility.