The life of the place: A phenomenological commentary on Bill Hillier's theory of space syntax

David Seamon


This article suggests that architect Bill Hillier's theory of space syntax has significant implications for a phenomenology of architecture and place. Hillier demonstrates that the physical and human worlds are intimately related through the spatial morphology of building and settlement layouts. In this sense, his work illustrates one aspect of a central phenomenological theme - human-immersion-in-world. A phenomenological extension would ask, among other questions, what different styles of lifeworld - a person or group's everyday world of taken-for-grantedness - relate to what patterns of paths, circulation, movement, interaction, and encounter.

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