Semantic and syntactic spatial potential analysis of the event interfaces in the shopping malls

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Istanbul Technical University, Fen Bilimleri Enstitüsü, Mimarlık, Turkey

Approval Date: 2019

Thesis Language: Turkish

Student: Sıla Saygılı

Supervisor: Mehmet Emin Şalgamcıoğlu


Public spaces have an important role in the public life. In the public space, people gather, satisfy their socializing needs and interact with each other. However regarding to changing and developing society, public spaces change in time. They become more defined such as public places. The basic need of the person is become social with others and shopping activities accelerate the social behaviors. With economic and technological developments, shopping move from streets to shopping centers. They do not only provide shopping, but also many social activities for visitors and now shopping centers assume the leading role in other public places. Even the shopping malls are privately owned, they function as a public place and people prefer to spend their leisure time in these malls. From Ancient Greek Agora's to todays' shopping malls, needs of the public are almost same, but the way that they meet has changed. First shopping experience was just exchanging goods and the public spaces located in the city centers. Modernization started with the industrialization and public spaces became an encountering area rather than meeting. People started to live more individual and after 1960's, public spaces used just as transfer points and the interaction in between public has decreased. The most defined and under controlled places become more and more popular as public places and under favor of capitalism consumption culture increases and shopping centers substitute the interaction center in between city and public. Shopping malls arrange many activities for visitors to create a pleased shopping experience. These activities also support the augmented interaction between visitor and visitor or visitor and physical environment. In addition, these activities affect the time spending in the mall that enhances the shopping possibility of the visitor. For all activities, shopping malls have the event interfaces. In this research, the main aim is to observe interfaces in the shopping malls and determine how these interfaces become a place with the events. People have started to see shopping as a free time experience and this leads some important changes in the shopping malls programs. They add events such as concerts, exhibitions, playgrounds, workshops and mostly these events are occurred on the event interfaces with different layouts. Event interfaces are the highest interaction zones in the shopping malls. They strengthen the publicness of the place. The scope of human-environment relations, space perception, way finding, personal space and interaction topics are used as inputs for semantic analysis. The behaviors of the visitors in the shopping mall and the relation with the physical environment is examined with the space syntax theory and attained syntactic data. Perception and experience work together to understand the surroundings. Visual perception is the first and most important step to interpret the data with your experiences and with the highest visual access way finding gets easier. There are also many icons, signboards for to use but if someone can not find the way easily, it leads to stress on that person and creates bad experience with the place. If that person has experienced the place previously, then way finding gets better. Personal space term is used to explain a bubble around every person which is important to feel comfortable. If the shopping mall is crowded than maximum capacity, this leads to lose personal space and this creates stress on the person. In addition to these stress factors, the bad climate conditions and complicated circulation design cause to stress too. In Turkey, shopping malls became popular in 1998 to 2001. After 2002, many foreign companies joined the market. The first shopping mall in Turkey is Galleria AVM, which has opened in 1988. Then Atakule in 1989 and Karum 1991 followed up. However, with the 4000 shops and specialized parts by variety of products, Grand Bazaar is the first shopping mall as an example of covered market. The construction for the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul started at 1461 by Suleyman the Magnificent and it is still used intensely by locals and tourists. Relating to 2018 data, in Turkey there are active 411 and 118 of them are located in Istanbul. From the first shopping mall in Turkey to new ones, spatial organizations and usage by visitors has changed. There are four different type of plan typology based on circulation design. These categories are dumbbell, branch, cartesian and mixed. Dumbbell is the common type in Turkey. Furthermore, in the shopping malls there are permanent and temporary programs. Shops, dining area, cinema and fun parks are examples for the permanent programs. Temporary programs set for a period or daily such as concerts, advertisement events, playgrounds, workshops, exhibitions. These temporary programs support to permanent programs. Temporary programs happen on event interfaces where help to increase interaction level in the shopping mall are. Interfaces are divided into two: temporary and permanent interfaces. Sitting units and playgrounds are examples of temporary event interfaces and all other events occur on temporary event interfaces. Shopping behavior has changed during the time and now online shopping is the most popular one. Therefore, with the events, shopping malls want to become attraction center to survive in this new order. In the case study, Kanyon and Istinye Park shopping malls are selected for the comparison of event interfaces. Both shopping malls have same segment user profiles, linear plan schemas and both of their main event interfaces are located in the center of the plan organization with high visual access from every floor. Although these similarities, their space usages are different. Kanyon is the first open-air shopping mall in Istanbul but Istinye Park is an enclosed space. Kanyon has a circular circulation and two of the main entrances are located on the event interfaces floor. In İstinye Park, circulation is linear and there is no main entrance to the event interfaces floor. The only access to that floor is with vertical circulation. Kanyon built in 2006 and has 117 stores. Metro, private cars, public transportation such as bus and by foot are common transportation types to arrive. There is an event calendar for this shopping mall and almost every weekend both main and side event interfaces are full with events. On the other hand, Istinye Park does not have a metro connection and the location of the shopping mall is not preferable for by foot. The only potential for this is the university campus in front of the mall. Istinye Park built in 2007 and has 280 stores. As same as Kanyon, this shopping mall has a crowded event calendar too. In consequence of these informations, floor plans, event interfaces and user behaviors compared in this thesis with making use of observations and space syntax methods. Space syntax helps to acquire syntactic data from the case. Syntax 2D is one of the major syntactic analyze program which helps to get integration, mean depth, connectivity and circularity values for this research. For the Syntax 2D program, floor plans divided into two layers, first one is the boundary, which specifies the border and the wall to indicate obstacles. In the visibility analyses wall layer includes the obstacles, which blocks the visual access, and in accessibility analyses, they blocks the passing. To start with, the definitions of the syntactic values, circularity means the aspect ratio of the space. Connectivity helps to calculate axis to pass sequential spaces. Mean depth is using for estimating minimum syntactic transfer from one space to another. Lastly, integration value examines the relation between other places. On the contrary, of connectivity, integration is a global value. If the integration value is high, then this is expected that the number of the people in the place is higher than the others. To analyze and measure the syntactic values, floor plans need to divide in convex spaces. In this thesis, every event interface floor plans divided determined convex spaces and thresholds. This thesis focuses on Kanyon and Istinye Park shopping malls main and side event interfaces with simultaneous special event days. Firstly, the interfaces were considered without any event to examine the first design idea. After that four special event dates had chosen for comparison of space usage and the effects of interface. Two different methodology used in this research, one of them is counting the number of people passing through the determined convex spaces and thresholds. The second is syntax analyses with the floor plans of changing events on the interfaces. Deductions from both interpreted at the end. After all the analyses, without any event on the interfaces, the counted number of people both weekdays and weekends Kanyon has more visitors than İstinye Park. However, even the number of visitors doubled the Istinye Park results, kids are crowded than in Kanyon. In all the event times, Kanyon is more crowded than Istinye Park but only in April 23 rd the percentage of kids is more by reason of event was accessible for everyone without any age or time restriction. Frequency and syntactic values of convex spaces and thresholds help to interpret spatial analyses. SPSS is the supporter program in this thesis to comprehend analyses and the correlation between different types of data. Regression analyses not only show how the correlation powerful or weak, but also the values are significant or not. After all studies, for both shopping malls the highest correlation and significant values belong to new year concert events on the main interfaces. There are also side event interfaces, which are located on same floor plans with lower integration values, and they have less event frequency than main interfaces. Finally, the results show that existing main and side event interfaces values and analysis lead to propose new potential interfaces in the shopping malls. With the developing technology and public needs, shopping malls will become to consumer experience centers and occured by many experience interfaces in the future.