Space Syntax: Mathematics and the Social Logic of Architecture

  • Michael J. DawesEmail author
  • Michael J. Ostwald
Living reference work entry


Space syntax is the title given to a set of mathematical and computational theories and techniques for analyzing the social and cognitive characteristics of an architectural or urban plan. Several of the most famous of these techniques convert the spatial properties of a plan into a graph. Thereafter, graph theory is used to derive various measures, which are interpreted in the context of the original plan or against benchmark data for particular building types.

This chapter presents an overview of the conceptual basis for space syntax and introduces three major analytical techniques: convex space analysis, axial line analysis, and intersection point analysis. Applications of these techniques are also described, along with a brief discussion of potential criticisms or limits. References cited in this chapter include the formulas and protocols needed to apply each of these techniques.


Space syntax Architectural analysis Graph theory Social analysis 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of NewcastleNewcastleAustralia

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