University College London
Dr Asya Natapov is a researcher at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) at University College London (UCL), UK. She holds a Post Doctorial Fellowship from the Israel Science Foundation and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship from the European Commission. She is an architect by training and a graduate of the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology. Prior to her doctoral studies, she worked for a few architectural firms in the USA and Israel, specializing in developing concepts for large-scale urban projects. She has been a guest researcher at the Spatial Cognition Research Center at the Institute of Computer Science and Social Research, University of Freiburg, Germany. Asya’s interdisciplinary research links visuo-spatial cognition to urban dynamics. A link is made at the intersection of three technological, and practical fields: complexity science (graph and network theories), spatial cognition (acquisition and utilization of spatial knowledge), and urban planning and design. Commonly, the modelling of urban space leans on the principles of society, economy, or politics. There are very few models based on cognition as an active player in the evolution and dynamics of urban space. Asya’s research develops an analytical framework which represents the relationship between the built environment and urban activities, drawing on visual cognition. Her approach combines quantitative techniques for spatial modelling with qualitative strategies for tracing human behaviour in Immersive Virtual Reality. Asya’s work aims to assist planners, architects and stakeholders in the sustainable design and evaluation of urban projects. Her research has been published in leading professional journals and presented at various international conferences.