Spatial abilities performance in London
Dis-Orientation, Spatial Abilities Performance in London
Master in Science Thesis at The Bartlett, University College London
Author: Christian Beros, The Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, UCL.


This report investigates the relation of the Spatial Configuration with the 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 thesis is to shed light on Spatial Orientation performance and how it is linked to spatial and syntactic properties of space. This topic is intrinsic in the Space Syntax theory due its fundamental relation between spatiality and human activity.

The research method used was a set of questionnaires done in London specifically in Covent Garden and Soho areas, asking people to point to five Landmarks and North. The results were overlaid with spatial analysis and compared through directions diagrams and statistical data analysis. The findings show relations between the Spatial Configuration and the given Landmarks directions with grid angularity, grid visibility and familiarity with the place.

The discussion is developed through the research findings and theories of spatial Navigation, Wayfinding and spatial cognition, putting forward varied interpretations related with the research topic and the selected areas. The report concludes that the Spatial Orientation in Soho and Covent Garden is determined by Spatial Configuration of the place and related with the grid structure. Furthermore, it is argued that the Navigation System in Central London is based in Path Integration rather than Landmark recognition and it is dependant on the familiarity of the subject with the Space of Navigation.

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