Sophia Psarra

Sophia Psarra
University College London | UCL · Bartlett School of Environment Energy and Resources

About

49
Publications
17,504
Reads
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499
Citations
Citations since 2016
22 Research Items
373 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022020406080
2016201720182019202020212022020406080
2016201720182019202020212022020406080

Publications

Publications (49)
Preprint
Full-text available
The atrium space, as an important prototype of architectural space, has many advantages in terms of energy consumption, social experience and traffic design and is widely used in architectural practice. However, there is still a paucity of research on how atrium spaces organise the flow of people and ultimately have a social impact. Space syntax th...
Conference Paper
The global pandemic of COVID-19 has posed challenges in relation to how buildings re-open to use, particularly buildings attracting large numbers of visitors, such as museums and galleries. As these institutions started to reopen across the UK and internationally, a number of social distance measures were adopted in order to safely bring people int...
Article
How do people explore multiplex environments? What role do atria play in spatial navigation? These are critical questions for architectural design. However, few studies have examined the role atria play in visitors’ exploration of museums. Consequently, the relationship between free exploration and the design of atria in museums is not well underst...
Article
Full-text available
The practice of busking and street music performance is becoming key to the identity of cities. However, although the spatial configuration and acoustics of historic city centres are interrelated, few rigorous studies have been undertaken on this area. The paper presents the results of a quantitative and comparative analysis of the space syntax con...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Since its inception in the 1970s, space syntax has matured into a theory and a method comprising a set of recurring theoretical and analytical concepts, as well as new ones emerging through the years. How can we trace the evolution of the field through language? How can we analyse the development of ideas in space syntax research? What can we learn...
Article
The 2011 Historic Urban Landscape Recommendation (HUL) by UNESCO defines cities as dynamic environments subject to cultural processes, tangible/intangible heritage and community values, leaving some key questions open. Is the heritage sector better defining historic places, or because their complexity defies verbal description, it re-iterates simpl...
Chapter
Space syntax is a significant theory and tool that describes buildings and cities as evolutionary processes, offering valuable support to architectural and urban design. However, theory and analytical research are different from the processes that characterise the generation of ideas in design practice. This chapter elaborates first, on the differe...
Book
Full-text available
From the myth of Arcadia through to the twenty-first century, ideas about sustainability – how we imagine better urban environments – remain persistently relevant, and raise recurring questions. How do cities evolve as complex spaces nurturing both urban creativity and the fortuitous art of discovery, and by which mechanisms do they foster imaginat...
Article
Full-text available
Robust quantitative descriptions of the social and physical characteristics of urban contexts are essential for assessing the impacts of urban environments on other, potentially dependent variables. Common methodologies used for that purpose, however, are either coarse or suffer from biasing effects. At the social level, the use of indicators encod...
Conference Paper
As digital technologies revolutionise the ways in which buildings are produced there is a growing risk for architecture to become a practice without a theory. Space syntax has contributed to architectural research, through the description of systematic relationships between patterns of use and spatial phenomena. Yet, in the last three decades it ha...
Conference Paper
Architecture is defined by intentional design, while cities are the product of multiple human actions over a long period of time. This seems to confine us between a view of architecture as authored object and a view of the city as authorless socio-economic process. This debate goes back to the separation of architecture from its skill base in build...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Upon building completion, housing value starts diminishing over time. If it fails to fulfil stakeholders' long-term needs, the building becomes obsolescent. While some housing schemes survive, others do not, being inflexible in changes over time. This paper explores physical adaptability as a design characteristic that other things being equal, add...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Atria in public buildings, such as museums and cultural environments, serve the purposes of architectural expression as well as spatial navigation. This is clearly seen in numerous existing buildings and modern extensions, such as in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, the most recent masterplan of which uses atria to link the old with the new sectors...
Book
Full-text available
The E-Merging Design Research module (EDR) is a new research/practice-based module in the SDAC MSc at The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. This book is an investigation of informal settlements in Rio. The contributions provide a glimpse into a ‘self-organising’ urban system, accompanied by speculations about the potential for intervention and...
Research
Full-text available
The Cycle to School project is a collaboration between Camden Council, the Somers Town Community and The Bartlett School of Architecture. The project represents a collaborative opportunity between Camden’s existing cycling programme and the Izaskun Chinchilla’s Public Engagement Fellowship and aims to encourage more children to cycle to school, whi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Medellín's Library-Parks were built with the main purpose of strengthening the sense of community of each library's surrounding neighbourhoods. In addition to 'original' programmes of public libraries, these buildings organise cultural events and meetings for sharing ideas and practices. Great importance is given to the generation of informal inter...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we outline the methodological development of current research into urban community formations based on combinations of qualitative (volunteered) and quantitative (spatial analytical and geo-statistical) data. We outline a research design that addresses problems of data quality relating to credibility in volunteered geographic informat...
Article
The Library-Parks of Medellín were built as part of major transport and educational infrastructures that are reshaping this city since the beginning of the 1990s, affecting especially the areas of the city with the most underprivileged populations. This paper investigates on the ways in which architecture influences the formation of networks of int...
Article
Full-text available
Architecture is usually defined through intent while cities come into being out of multiple human actions over a long period of time. This seems to trap us between a view of architecture as authored object, and a view of the city as authorless, evolutionary process. The debate about the autonomous and the contingent object thus, goes back to the se...
Book
Full-text available
As more than one billion urban residents around the world live in informal settlements we need a body of investigation that addresses the relationship of urban informality with architecture and the profession. And where better can we find a more striking combination of modern architecture with some of the world’s most resilient self-built settlemen...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Informal settlements are an increasing global phenomenon. Since the mid-century Rio de Janeiro went through a series of paradigmatic changes, trying to cope with this phenomenon. The scope of these interventions ranged from entire eradications of these settlements in the 1960s to present in situ programmes of infrastructural upgrades. Up to now fav...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The relationship between the spatial organisation of museums and visitors' experience has been widely explored. However, previous studies rarely focused upon the actual use and effect of the atria on how people navigate. To understand this interaction entails answering the following research question: How exploration and movement in museums are aff...
Article
Full-text available
Public educational buildings – such as schools, libraries, research centres and museum galleries – have complex and often conflicting requirements in terms of their programming and functioning. On the one hand, they need to provide open and equal access to knowledge to various categories of users. On the other, they have needs that might restrict o...
Article
Analytic approaches to design develop theories from real-world phenomena, and as such are predominantly focused on the ‘laws that restrict and structure the field of possibility’ (Hillier 1996: 221). However, in the domain of design we need theories of design possibility and actuality, or a combined theory of generation and explanation. Starting fr...
Article
This article points out a number of key failures of existing practice for building design and then promotes a new approach based upon advances made in the modelling of complex systems and systems engineering. This new approach involves the identification of building functions and modelling techniques to evaluate the performance of a building with r...
Article
Full-text available
This paper concerns the development of a new computational stochastic analysis in order to gain insight into situated vision in spatial environments. It is structured in three parts. The first two parts present the theoretical framework for the new model, based on the following propositions: firstly, that isovists are bound configurations containin...
Article
Full-text available
This paper concerns the development of a new computational stochastic analysis in order to gain insight into situated vision in spatial environments. It is structured in three parts. The first two parts present the theoretical framework for the new model, based on the following propositions: firstly, that isovists are bound configurations containin...
Article
Architecture consists of spatial relations that accommodate functions, afford social relations and create visual interest. Through openings and walls, architects manipulate continuities and discontinuities of visual fields in two and three dimensions. Analytical diagrams and models of these fields have been offered by space syntax, especially throu...
Article
This article addresses spatial patterns of growth and decline in Detroit from 1776 to the present. It maps industrial distribution, and uses space syntax to analyse the relationship among the street network, industry, streetcar transportation, and retail activity in the city. Special emphasis is given to the first half of the twentieth century, whe...
Article
The ways in which we understand buildings and cities in space syntax research is inextricably linked with the development of methods, tools and the innovative use of technology. The Autumn/Winter 2012 Issue of JOSS is dedicated to methodological developments, presenting two papers that focus on space syntax measures, and a third one that explores v...
Conference Paper
Architecture is often charged with narrative content; it foregrounds certain elements and underplays others; it constructs space, time and sequence; it facilitates the exploration of identity according to the specificity of the context in which it is embedded. But what is interesting in architecture is how these mechanisms are used not to tell stor...
Article
Full-text available
The main thrust of space syntax is in the definition of space in physical rather than conceptual terms, bridging through the idea of configuration between abstract and lived space. Configuration defines non-discursive rules we use unconsciously, patterns we 'think with' rather 'than think of'. While the vernacular is based on the unconscious normat...
Book
Architecture is often seen as the art of a thinking mind that arranges, organizes and establishes relationships between the parts and the whole. It is also seen as the art of designing spaces, which we experience through movement and use. Conceptual ordering, spatial and social narrative are fundamental to the ways in which buildings are shaped, us...
Article
For space syntax researchers, software is an essential tool for the analysis of spatial conflguration. Unfortunately, the proprietary nature of most of this software can inhibit innovation within the fleld. Without the ability to examine others' source code, we lose a potential resource for learning and an additional point of veriflcation for peer...
Article
I came to the study of the Parthenon and the Erechtheion from outside the areas of archaeology and art history. My interest in the two buildings is in their architecture and more specifically in the contribution this makes to their cultural meaning. However, the most compelling argument of archaeologists and art historians supports my intentions: b...
Article
Full-text available
The strong presence of architecture in Borges' fictions called for a study of their narrative structure. The intention was to examine the contribution of spatial models to his literature and the ways in which his stories can serve as tools to understand architecture. The analysis revealed a narrative strategy based on the relationship between the l...
Article
Full-text available
This paper explores methods for establishing an integrated analysis for the description of shape and spatial properties. Its aim is twofold: first, to test the analytic methods against shapes of simple and moderate complexity. Second, to account for ways in which shape patterns are revealed during spatial experience. The analysis quantifies syntact...
Article
Full-text available
Notions of shape and the design of space in architecture are inextricably linked together. Analytic developments of shape and spatial organisation have been based either on systems of geometric order or on systems of interrelated units of space. In this paper we explore ways for quantifying shape without relying on reductive concepts of geometry or...
Article
Interaction between the contents and the architecture lies at the heart of the Museum of Scotland's presentation of the story of the land and its people. The design accordingly raises questions concerning the relation between architecture, the viewer and the educational message. Space syntax techniques suggest that this relation is based on a confi...
Conference Paper
Architecture creates spaces to accommodate social relations. It also creates spaces to look at and experience through movement and through observation. In addition to social purposes some buildings carry an extra level of content. This refers to the ways they become visually appreciated as spatial systems o f a specific appearance. These buildings...
Article
Full-text available
Detroit, once a "symbol of industrial dynamist", moved in the post-war era to "a byword for economic decline and urban decay" (AIA 2008). Today, the vacant plots and thinning population in the city have contributed to its characterization as "urban prairie" capturing a dramatic transition of some American cities from economic urban centers to urban...

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