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To take hold of space: isovists and isovist fields


  • M L Benedikt


The environment is defined as a collection of visible real surfaces in space. An isovist is the set of all points visible from a given vantage point in space and with respect to an environment. The shape and size of an isovist is liable to change with position. Numerical measures are proposed that quantify some salient size and shape features. These measures in turn create a set of scalar isovist fields . Sets of isovists and isovist fields form an alternative description of environments. The method seems relevant to behavioral and perceptual studies in architecture, especially in the areas of view control, privacy, 'defensibility', and in dynamic complexity and spaciousness judgements. Isovists and isovist fields also shed light on the meaning of prevalent architectural notions about space . In the latter role it is hoped that an information-field theory such as the one presented can help provide fruitful common ground for designers and researchers.

Suggested Citation

  • M L Benedikt, 1979. "To take hold of space: isovists and isovist fields," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 6(1), pages 47-65, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envirb:v:6:y:1979:i:1:p:47-65

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    Cited by:

    1. Toker, Umut & Gray, Denis O., 2008. "Innovation spaces: Workspace planning and innovation in U.S. university research centers," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 309-329, March.

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