Dubai Campus, UAE - 20-22 April, 2024

Space Syntax Theory: architectural applications (spatial configuration)


Space syntax theory aims to elucidate the reasons behind the formation of the built environment in relation to corresponding socio-cultural activities, primarily from a spatial perspective. The network’s configuration serves as the key influencer on the movement patterns, establishing a fundamental connection between spatial structures and their functions. As a quantitative methodology, space syntax delineates spatial layout patterns that illustrate how spatial configuration influences existing movements. It evaluates integration, a concept closely intertwined with accessibility, by describing the average depth of a space concerning all other spaces within the system, thus indicating potential movement destinations that are typically preferred.

Workshop Description

This workshop is designed to enable the participants to analyze, compare, and contrast architectural examples, alternatives, and forecast movement patterns inside buildings.

By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to do the following:

  • Understand the spatial configuration of a selected architectural building using Space Syntax;
  • Choose the appropriate methods of spatial analysis;
  • Analyze the current situation of a selected case study, compare different cases, and forecast any future spatial

Equipment and software

  • Using ‘Depthmap’ software and its application to architectural examples
  • Using Rhino + Grasshopper for large-scale buildings

Prof. Nabil Mohareb
Associate Professor at The American
University in Cairo


Nabil Mohareb is currently an associate professor at the American University in Cairo (AUC), Department of Architecture, School of Sciences and Engineering (SSE). He was the former director of Faculty of Architecture – Design & Built Environment, Beirut Arab University, Tripoli Campus, Lebanon. He has worked for distinguished universities in Egypt, United Arab Emirates and Lebanon. Recently he has been an honorary research fellow at the University of Liverpool Virtual Fellowship in Heritage Program Award for 2020-21. Mohareb has earned his second PhD from the University of Liverpool (UK) in 2015.

His research focuses on the relationship between architecture and urbanism; he is interested in social behavior activities, their mutual effect on both spatial and economic variables in urban spaces, and their interrelationship with architectural design. Mohareb uses theoretical and experimental methods in his research including but not limited to Space Syntax, GIS, and recently introducing drones and artificial intelligent (AI) in the field of object monitoring and detection of patterns of behavior at different scale levels (micro/macro scales).

He has several published papers in refereed journals and international refereed conferences. He has participated in number of international funding research related to understanding social behavior activities. He has delivered more than nine workshops in Egypt, Italy and Lebanon, testing experimental methods of analysis, he also has delivered a TEDx talk in Tripoli’s Azmi Street (Lebanon). He serves as an editorial board member of a number of renowned journals: for example, regional editor – Middle East and Africa for the International Journal of Architectural Research Archnet-IJAR, and member of the editorial review board of open house International journal, Emerald Group Publishing.

Research Interest

  • Spatial cognition analysis in buildings and urban spaces
  • Social behavior and patterns of movements in urban and architecture spaces
  • Architectural design
  • 3D documentation using photogrammetry techniques
  • Space Syntax and GIS analysis

Workshop Outline

  • Why think spatially? Theoretical basics of spatial network analysis
  • Space Syntax (historical background, scale of analysis, different tools (VGA, Isovist, Agent-based, axial lines and segment lines))
  • Important readings and references
  • Depthmap and other software of spatial configuration analysis
  • Introducing axial lines: drawing by hand and depth
  • Preparing for the site visit (Introducing the Gate system, identifying the action area of the case study) (group work)
  • Introducing axial and segment analysis (Game 1 &2)
  • Methods of analysis: understanding movements and navigation methods
  • Building analysis (Introduction)
  • Convex space + JGraph analysis (case studies) (individual/group work)
  • Visibility Graph analysis (VGA) + Isovist analysis (individual/group work)
  • Case study as an exercise

Workshop Fees

  • Held in-person at Abu Dhabi University, Dubai Campus in Dubai, the fees below guarantee your attendance for the workshop and all days of the International Conference on Environmental Design, Material Science, and Engineering Technologies as an audience



Al Borouj St. – Al Sufouh – Al Sufouh 2 – Dubai – United Arab Emirates

Abu Dhabi University’s Dubai campus is located in the world-renowned Dubai Knowledge Park  ‐ the world’s only free zone dedicated to learning excellence and It is near Palm Jumeirah, pictured below.

Your Trip To Dubai

The United Arab Emirates is a federation made up of seven emirates located in the Arabian Peninsula’s southeast: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al-Quwain, Fujairah, and Ras Al Khaimah. Since its inception in 1971, the UAE now boasts the Middle East’s third-largest economy, boasting an impressive GDP of $415 billion. Accordingly, the federation developed modern infrastructure and now houses everything from architectural masterpieces, to sky-rise buildings, museums, and other touristic attractions. As well as having stunning beaches and great weather all year round. As a matter of fact, Dubai became the world’s second-most visited city right after Paris, France in 2022.

With a rich and vibrant history, the UAE has everything from archaeological sites to luxury hotels, stunning mosques, and shopping malls. There are plenty of places to go in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi.


As one of the leaders and most avid supporters of the research and academic community, IEREK has always endeavored to develop and enrich innovative production. Constantly advocating for forward-thinking became our modus operandi.

Because of this driving passion, we’ve hosted many successful workshops where participants were able to widen their horizons and feed their love of their craft using real-life applications and concentrated, global, expert knowledge. We’ve hosted schools abroad in such locations as culturally rich Italy and the diverse United Kingdom, where our future architects received an enriching and engaging learning experience on subjects.

It has taught us what one could gain from investing in themselves. Studying overseas has many fantastic benefits, from helping you find a good job to improving your social life. A few of these benefits are compiled here.