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Public Lecture: Visiting Professor John Peponis, The Spacial Culture of Open Cities and the Interface of Scales

Room 209, Sutherland Building


John Peponis, Professor of Architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology, USA

Refreshments will be available from 5.30pm



Space acts like a language by providing structured affordances for movement, access, view, co-presence or encounter. It is a medium in which we can design spatial relationships to accommodate desirable ways of life. Of particular importance to the spatial culture of different groups is the construction of interfaces between different conditions. These can be: individual and group work at the office; foreground and background in a museum; distinct brand identities and the collective character of shopping environments. The interface between local and global scales of organisation is fundamental to urban diversity, as they are continuously constructed and differentiated everywhere. This is opposed to additive design models which look at the city as an aggregation of distinct but connected parts, whether hierarchical or not. 

The lecture will discuss formal aspects of the definition and design of direct interfaces between local and global scales. It will conclude with the argument that the direct interface of scales is fundamental to the idea of the open city, a city that supports human fulfilment through its intelligible spatial structure.


About the Speaker

Professor Peponis currently holds the position of professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta GA. He is an international leader in the field of spatial analysis and one of the original creators of space syntax. He studies the principles and constraints that govern the generation of built form and its social, cultural and cognitive functions and his publications address the geometric and computational foundations of space syntax; the spatial culture of buildings and cities; design formulation and design languages; spatial cognition; work environments; museums.


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Event Details

Room 209, Sutherland Building
City Campus West
Northumbria University


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