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The UCL Space Group is the international centre of the theory and methodology known as 'space syntax'. The Space Syntax Laboratory is the central hub of the research within the group. It studies the effects of spatial design on aspects of social, organisational and economic performance of buildings and urban areas. Its theoretical and methodological innovation intersects with a variety of disciplines, including anthropology, archaeology, geography, computer science, psychology, sociology, medicine, mathematical modelling and physics. The group also comprises the VR Centre for the Built Environment, whose role is to bring the full range of computer graphics, interaction and digital data to the virtual building that currently drives the design-development-operation cycle. Information, analysis and simulations are being synthesised to allow design teams and their clients to predict the performance of proposals at both the urban and building scale. In addition, the group is associated with Space Syntax Limited, a UCL spinout applied research and technology transfer firm, which is currently working on a range of live projects from end user organizations in industry and local government.

Research Aims

  • To develop theories and to test these by studying the effects of spatial design on aspects of social, organisational and economic performance of buildings and urban areas.
  • To integrate computational approaches at the heart of the design process, including structural, societal and environmental analysis, as well as the generation of design solutions that combine machine learning, optimisation and technological innovation.
  • To research, develop and disseminate ways of designing, producing and operating buildings and urban areas using virtual-reality techniques.