SpaceChase is a software development project, being developed for “Mekan Dizimi Tasarım Uygulaması” (no:119M082) under ARDEB 1001 programme of TUBITAK (The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey). “Mekan Dizimi Tasarım Uygulaması” is a collaborative research project between Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul Bilgi University and Tuspa Design Studio. SpaceChase focuses on initiating dynamic capabilities to Space Syntax theory by introducing the “dynamic canvas” model along with real-time editing capabilities in an interactive physics-based environment.

Research information

Space Syntax as a research realm is a set of techniques aimed at presenting scientific, data-oriented, theoretical understanding of architecture and built-environment in this sense, focuses on architectural thinking, deciphering the potentials of spatial formations by means of graphic-theoretical digital tools.

Space Syntax as a software tool and thinking, intends to understand and analyze the existing spatial constructions. However, there are limited experimental studies investigating the topological-geometrical probabilities of spatial configurations in recent years. This research intends to enrich the mentioned efforts and possibilities in this limited area of interest, and aims to produce a software plugin and a mobile application investigating the use of the graph based thinking in the architectural design process that generates topological and geometric layout possibilities. The purpose of this research is investigating the potential use of the conceptual framework in Space Syntax as a creative tool that generates real-time information in the architectural design process.

Although architectural design is a subjective process, some design tools/methods provide objective criteria  evaluating the design and iterating with feedback. Tools for building and measuring space including network thinking allow visualization of architectural decisions for architectural programming and developing scenarios. This study is focused on the use of graph theory criteria in architectural design, emphasizes the experimental/cognitive qualities of the design process, investigates how scientific data and processes can be transferred to design and how this thinking can be integrated as a creative and informative tool.

This work first examines the possibilities and limitations of existing space syntax-oriented computer software that intends to decrypt and measure spatial networks – configurations. Then, it focuses on the construction of possible geometric space configurations from the description of abstract spatial connections. Thus, this work aims to develop a computer application that provides real-time, scientific, objective data about the space syntactic qualities of designs. The research methodology will be initiated with an extensive literature survey, followed by an extensive field study that relates to young architects, architecture students. Workshops and surveys through the use of the developed application will enable to gather data on spatial relationship mapping, different spatial perceptions and corresponding layout possibilities with a game-like interface that serves to the creative mind of the designer. The design of spatial layout concerns the arrangement of the network of relations between spatial units, and compartments. This network structure is significant in the architectural discourse, social relationships among users, interactions decipher functional and potential routes. It has always been a matter of debate how to move the scientific data into the design process. In architecture, it is thought that the network-focused thinker is valuable for architectural education and practice, as the experimental work put forward to measure spatial organizations and to use them as a design study.

Precedent Studies

Fordist operational analyses and productivity assessments

In design processes, the use of spatial layout and syntactic methods extends to Fordist operational analyses and productivity assessments. An illustrative example of this thinking can be found in the Frankfurt Kitchen designed by Schütte-Lihotzky in the 1920s. Christopher Alexander drew attention to the network thinking in design in the 1970s with his concept of ‘goals and paths’ in his book ‘A Pattern Language.’

Top image: UCL SpaceSyntax Lab.
Bottom image: Christopher Alexander ‘goals and paths’
UCL SpaceSyntax Lab.UCL SpaceSyntax Lab.

Bakırköy Mental Hospital Campus

Relational mapping as a design tool has been part of the practice at Agency for Architectural Design, NK Tuspa since 2008. It was first utilized at Bakırköy Psychiatric Hospital master plan design by Nilüfer Kozikoğlu, generated with TopSolid by Gözde Küçükoğlu in 2008
Bakirkoy Mental Hospital Campus graph

Istanbul Bus Station Network

This analysis utilized Cytoscape to explore the connections between districts in Istanbul and bus stops, while also determining centrality among these districts and conducted by Nilüfer Kozikoğlu and Ahmet Kutsi Nircan
Istanbul bus station network graph

International Bandırma Park Competition
2017 – 2nd Prize Winner

In the design of a campus, both the distinctive qualities within the area and the relationships described by the designer among its components are at play. In the Bandırma project, these inter-component relationships were defined, and these relationships were elaborated using human movement metrics through dynamic diagrams created using Grasshopper.
International Bandırma Park layout