|Title||Using Spatial Analysis in an Evidence Informed Approach to Community Engagement in Design|
This thesis conceptually stems from the researcher’s experience in participatory design practice in India and her subsequent experience in research and practice of the
Urban design is a set of complex relationships between all the elements of built and unbuilt space in cities. It is imperative that the design processes address these complex socio-spatial relations that govern its form. Whilst, current design approaches attempt to respond to the socio-spatial structure of the city, they have certain limitations. This study focuses on two such limitations - a disconnect between the user and the architect; and a lack of credible rationalisation and evidence to address this complexity through design decision making. In order to address these limitations, an integrated design approach is suggested, that uses spatial analysis in an engagement led design process. The relation between spatial analysis, engagement and evidence in this design approach is made through the concepts of user behaviour and user experience in space.
Space Syntax theories have been selected as an example of spatial analysis methods. These are based on two fundamental principles - first, that spatial and environmental behaviour is a function of the configuration of spaces (spatial patterns) and not individual spaces; second, that the vitality of a space is not a result of its local qualities but that of the properties of the larger urban grid (global).
This thesis argues that in order for spatial analysis to be complete, it should be supported by both behavioural and experiential evidence. The effective application of