Disorientation and spatial abilities performance
Proceedings, 6th International Space Syntax Symposium, Istanbul, 2007
Author: Christian Beros Space Syntax Ltd; The Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, UCL.

This paper investigates the relation of Spatial Configuration with Orientation Performance of the individual in Urban Navigation. Spatial Orientation is defined as a function of the mind involving ‘awareness of place’ in the environment, and is a key aspect of Navigation in terms of maintaining a sense of where the subject is relative to its goal as it is moving. The aim of this paper is to shed light on Spatial Orientation performance and how it is linked to configurational and syntactical properties of space. This topic is intrinsic in the Space Syntax theory due its fundamental relation between spatiality and human activity.

The discussion is developed by the research findings and theories of Navigation, Wayfinding and Spatial Cognition, putting forward varied interpretations related with the research topic and the selected areas. The paper concludes that the Spatial Orientation in Soho and Covent Garden is determined by the Spatial Configuration of the area and that the navigation system used in Central London is mainly Path Integration rather than Piloting or Landmark Recognition System. Then, it is argued that Landmarks act as primary organizers of spatial features in cognitive maps, followed by an environmental knowing and understanding of the Spatial Configuration that is translated in Path Integration.

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