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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/26641

Title: Reclaiming the virtual community for spatial cultures: Functional generality and cultural specificity at the interface of building and street
Authors: Palaiologou, Garyfalia
Griffiths, Sam
Vaughan, Laura
Keywords: Spatial cultures
Virtual community
Micro-morphology
Building-street interface
Probabilistic encounters
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: University College London © The Authors and the Journal of Space Syntax (JOSS)
Citation: PALAIOLOGOU, G., GRIFFITHS, S. and VAUGHAN, L., 2016. Reclaiming the virtual community for spatial cultures: Functional generality and cultural specificity at the interface of building and street. Journal of Space Syntax, 7 (1), pp. 25-54.
Abstract: This paper engages with the formation of spatial cultures at a micro-morphological level to advance a general argument for the need to further study the contribution of building morphology to the collective realm of the quotidian city. It suggests how the macro-scale approach in analysing spatiotemporal phenomena in urban space lacks a sensitivity to historical urban processes at the micro-scale where the generic and culturally specific aspects of the diachronic city interact to give rise to actual communities. This recalibration of scales, it is claimed, is an epistemological prerequisite for urban design theories to engage productively with the social theory of space. The paper problematizes the idea of the building-street interface and its implications for conditioning urban encounters at the threshold of architectural and urban scales. The argument develops the space syntax concept of ‘virtual community’ as a means to understand how the theoretical capacity for individual buildings to aggregate into a streetscape becomes culturally particular at the level of users’ co-presence in physical space. It looks at the rules of built form aggregation and their implications for shaping the building-street interface in terms of probabilistic encounters over historical time. The argument is then illustrated through an analysis of the historical building-street connectivity as a cultural articulation of spatial-morphogenetic processes. Two urban settings are examined: terraced house morphologies in London and row houses in Manhattan. It is proposed that a micro-morphological approach to the description and analysis of the building-street interface helps to supply a ‘missing link’ in theorising space-society relationship as part of a broader project of rethinking what 'design' means in an urban context.
Description: The article is copyright © the Authors and the Journal of Space Syntax (JOSS). This article may be used by any individual for research, teaching, and private study purposes, and for dissemination of research knowledge in wider contexts but may not be distributed for profit. Any substantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden without prior consent from the authors. Systematic redistribution here includes publication databases, and restrictions includes republishing the article in another context. If such is intended using the article as it appears in JOSS it furthermore requires consent from the journal. See the full description of rights and permissions on the journal webpage.
Sponsor: Garyfalia Palaiologou is grateful to the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council for financially supporting this research in the form of a PhD Studentship.
Version: Published
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/26641
Publisher Link: http://joss.bartlett.ucl.ac.uk/journal/index.php/joss/article/view/291
ISSN: 2044-7507
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering)

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