Bill Hillier

Bill Hillier is Professor of Architecture and Urban Morphology in the University of London, Chairman of the Bartlett School of Graduate Studies and Director of the Space Syntax Laboratory in University College London. He specialises in the study of human and social space in buildings and urban environments of all kinds. He was the original pioneer of the methods for the analysis of spatial patterns known as ‘space syntax’. He is the author of The Social Logic of Space (Cambridge University Press, 1984, 1990) which presents a general theory of how people relate to space in built environments, ‘Space is the Machine’ (CUP 1996), which reports a substantial body of research built on that theory, and a large number of articles concerned with different aspects of space and how it works. He has also written extensively on other aspects of the theory of architecture. It has been said of Bill Hillier that he is the only architectural theorist who is regularly consulted by leading architects on major projects. He runs the Space Syntax Laboratory at the Bartlett, the only architecture-based research group in the UK to get the top 5* research rating in the UK Research Assessment Exercise of 2001. He also has also set up a spin off company call Space Syntax Limited, run by Tim Stonor, which already applies space syntax to 80+ projects a year. Past research has included work on the spatial structure of cities and urban areas, on problem housing estates, including spatial factors in crime, the design of offices and research laboratories, and the relation between domestic space organisation and culture. His ‘space syntax’ techniques for spatial analysis and design are now being used by leading designers and planners in major urban and architectural projects in many parts of the world. Current research activities include work on the structure and dynamics of large cities and their constituent areas, the development of a new generation of ‘space syntax’ techniques for the analysis of more complex interactions between spatial organisation and people, and the development of computer modelling techniques which integrate data handling techniques with space syntax to bring better research knowledge and intelligence into computer aided design.

Homepage at Space Syntax

Homepage at University College London

Bill Hillier



Phone: 617-547-4100 | Fax: 617-661-7711 | Email: office at

277 Broadway Cambridge, MA USA