Thursday, 10 February 2011

Placement Day 1: Understanding syntax

On Thursday (10/02/10) I began my head first dive into my placement at the VRC, and to help collate my research I'm going to start updating my blog with a summary each week of all the exciting things I've discovered while on placement.

Space Syntax

I tried to ease myself in to the world of Space Syntax, with the paper: The City as One Thing by Bill Hillier and Laura Vaughan. I'm understanding some of the basics, like, as the paper more eloquently puts it: "Space syntax began from the observation that space is the common ground of the physical and social cities." Things took a downward turn when the paper began discussing formula in relation to axial space. My A in Higher Mathematics could not even save me, so I've had to re-evaluate my use of space syntax in understanding the social architecture of the DCA.

I'm an artist, which may sound like an academic copout, but my work intends to explore space syntax visually. Of course, I need data sets to inform my practice, and intend to develop my own hybrid data collection methodology, which is tailored to my limited understanding of space syntax.

Visualising the Social Architecture of the DCA

I intend to begin, with the VRC, and attempt to 'map' the social interactions of this space which will hopefully provide a template methodology that can be rolled out to the DCA as a whole. So how am I going to start? Well, with the basics. I want to capture peoples movements through the space, and map this movement onto a plan of the building. Then I need to capture places where people interact. More on this when I figure out how I'm going to do this, on Thursday.

I'm also going to try and get in contact with the architect, Richard Murphy, who designed the DCA, as "social" was definitely at the heart of his design.

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