CONFIGRAPHICS: Graph Theoretical Methods for Design and Analysis of Spatial Configurations

PHD Research

dr. Pirouz Nourian


PhD started in: 2010,

finished in 2016,

published in A+BE series.


M.Sc. in Architecture 2009


B.Sc. in Control Engineering (Major  in Electrical Engineering) 2004




Prof. Dr. Ir. Sevil Sariylidiz


Dr. Ir. Frank van der Hoeven



Main Question: How can we organize/layout spatial arrangements to facilitate desired functional patterns, social interactions and mobility in buildings and cities?



Deliverables: design methods implemented as computational tool suites for architectural and urban configuration


Released prototypes in action:

















Keywords: Graph Theory, Spatial Network Analysis, Computational Design, Spatial Analysis



Area of Research: Computation & Performance



Architectural Engineering + Technology Department/ Chair of Design Informatics  - Urbanism/ Chair of Urban Design





























Research Summary:

This dissertation reports a PhD research on mathematical-computational models, methods, and techniques for analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of spatial configurations in architecture and urban design. Spatial configuration is a technical term that refers to the particular way in which a set of spaces are connected to one another as a network. Spatial configuration affects safety, security, and efficiency of functioning of complex buildings by facilitating certain patterns of movement and/or impeding other patterns. In cities and suburban built environments, spatial configuration affects accessibilities and influences travel behavioral patterns, e.g. choosing walking and cycling for short trips instead of traveling by cars. As such, spatial configuration effectively influences the social, economic, and environmental functioning of cities and complex buildings, by conducting human movement patterns.


Research Methodology:

Graph Theory, Computational Topology, Linear Algebra, Fuzzy Logics, and Social Network Analysis are used as means of modeling spatial configurations and the effect of their ‘structure’ on mobility of people in cities and the spatial structure of buildings. Algorithms have been devised for modeling, analysis, generation and representation of graph/network models, optimal paths, stochastic models of mobility behavior and free-form shape agents that can be used to form buildings with desired configurations. The research has produced prototype toolkits & libraries written in Dot NET languages (C# & VB.NET).


Key Publications:

1. Nourian, P., Rezvani, S.,  van der Hoeven, Frank, Sariyildiz, S. (2015). Spectral Modelling of Spatial Networks. Proceedings of SimAUD 2016, pp. 103-110.

2. Nourian, P., Rezvani, S., Sariyildiz, S. (2013). A Syntactic Design Methodology. Proceedings of 9th Space Syntax Symposium. Seoul.







Telnr +3127892136


Room 01+.West.040


Faculty of Architecture and the

Built Environment


Building 8


Julianalaan 134


2628 BL Delft