ISSN: 2717-4417

Document Type : Research Paper


Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism, Tabriz Islamic Art University, Tabriz, Iran



- Social interactions, among other things, affect peoples’ attraction to public spaces.
- Permeability, flexibility, and accessibility are the spatial structural factors that directly impact social interactions in public spaces.
- The main goal of the formation of the Space Syntax Theory is to describe the social rationale behind the basic layers of spatial configuration.
- The spatial plan has a direct impact on interactions in the space.
Man is intrinsically a social being whose surrounding space constitutes his social relations. The extent to which the environment affects man’s performance has always been a major concern for environmental designers. Marketplaces are highly important in this regard as thriving, bustling public places. The urban space combines social relations and the structural context, which meets man’s collective functions and conveys a semantic load. It is not made simply for being seen and walked through, as it also helps form social relations among various people in the community. The urban space involves the pleasure and enjoyment of various social groups and their active, continued social presence therein. The marketplace structure has served as the heart of Islamic-era cities in the attempt to meet man’s basic needs, including economic, religious, social, and tourism-pilgrimage needs. It provides a good example for investigation of the reasons for high social interaction and how these interactions are affected by the architectural context. This article seeks to answer the following questions:
How does structure impact the social interactions in the historical bazaar of the city of Tabriz, Iran?
How does the bazaar structure contribute to the improvement of social interactions in Saray-e-Amir?
How does the bazaar structure reduce social interactions in Saray-e-Dodari? 
 Theoretical Framework
This research aims to identify the structural components affecting the interactions in the marketplace and investigate the role of Tabriz’s bazaar as a living, dynamic example of traditional Iranian marketplaces in the interactions occurring there. A review of the literature indicates that Space Syntax can help examine these issues, and an investigation of the components obtained from previous research may serve to help investigate the relevant factors. The components include permeability, flexibility, accessibility in the space syntax, flooring, furniture, spaces for stopping and sitting, visibility, etc. These are structural factors affecting social interactions, which can be investigated with various spatial techniques. As suggested in the literature, the term syntax bears contextual meanings; in other words, it is defined in association with relevant terms. If a building is considered as an object composed of a spatial-communication system, this system will be represented by a plan that manifests the function of syntax in the architectural space. 
 This research uses both descriptive-analytical and survey methods to investigate social interactions and the effects of structure thereon. Upon specification of the components of the marketplace space syntax and social interactions, the study investigates the impacts of the marketplace on the interactions. It provides a comparative examination of various activities of a set using particular space syntax (depth map) software to select and control the three components of permeability, accessibility, and flexibility in the form of integration. Then, the study uses a questionnaire to examine the effects of the structure on the interactions in the marketplace. In this method, each of the components extracted from previous research is investigated separately in the two bazaar spaces using a valid, reliable questionnaire. As mentioned above, the bazaars include Saray-e-Amir and Saray-e-Dodari, which differ in terms of function and geometric characteristics, and experience different interactions.
 Results and Discussion
Research findings on space syntax suggest that the extent of each selection, integration, and relationship component in Saray-e-Dodari covers a broader spectrum than those in Saray-e-Amir, demonstrating the greater relationship between the former bazaar and other parts of the marketplace. This relationship is poorer in the latter bazaar. This is because Saray-e-Amir is situated at the beginning of the marketplace, while Saray-e-Dodari is located in the middle between various parts. It is demonstrated that the higher the rates of relationship, selection, and interaction in Saray-e-Dodari, the greater the spatial accessibility, permeability, and flexibility. The questionnaire results based on the space users’ views also indicate higher social interaction rates in Saray-e-Amir than in Saray-e-Dodari.
It is concluded based on the results that the three components of relationship, interaction, and control, which constitute factors improving social interactions from a space syntax perspective, directly impact accessibility, permeability, and flexibility. An investigation of all the three main components of space syntax suggests that centralized spaces and entrances impact the improvement of traffic, concentration of the users, centrality of these two in the decrease in user attraction, and creation of reclusive spaces for social interactions. Furthermore, a review of the structural factors indicates the positive effects of appropriate flooring, visibility, readability, and use of natural elements on the extent of social interactions, as the components of appropriate furniture, accessibility, and pause space differ in the two bazaars, which indicates the changing level of interaction there.


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