Presented by: Dr. Linda Nubani

Previous literature on space syntax showed how workspace layout generated boundaries that created relationships of accessibility and visibility. Space syntax is a group of theories founded by Hillier and Hanson that examine the effect of the environment on human behavior (Hillier and Hanson, 1984). A set of techniques and programs have been developed since 1960s that can assist architects, planners, and interior designers to evaluate the implications certain properties of the environment on psychosocial constructs. However, there is a little research that documents whether these techniques are implemented in professional practice. Within this presentation, the author discusses and compares the visual properties of eight different semi-government and private offices in Dubai regarding their terms of intelligibility and their expected level of face-to-face communication among employees. The author provides a comparison between these offices and mainstream workplace concepts using visibility graph analysis, one of the space syntax techniques. The goal of using these techniques is to establish a systematic and an objective way in describing the relationship between organizational constructs and office layouts. These techniques could be in turn used by professionals in their practice to explore different behavioral outcomes with their clients during the design phase.


  • Rashid, M., Zimring, C., Wineman, J., Flaningam, T., Nubani, L., & Hammash, R. (2005). The effects of spatial behaviors and layout attributes on individuals' perception of psychosocial constructs in offices. Proceedings of the Fifth International Space Syntax Conference, Delft Netherlands,
  • Haq, S. &Zimring, C. (2003). Just Down the Road a Piece: the Development of Topological Knowledge of Building Layouts. Environment and Behavior, 35(1), 132-160.
  • Haynes, B. (2008). The impact of office layout on productivity. Journal of Facilities Management, 6 (3), 189 - 201.
  • Stryker, J., Santoro, M., &Farris, G.(2012). Creating Collaboration Opportunity: Designing the Physical Workplace to Promote High-Tech Team Communication. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 59 (4).
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