FOTO PLANO

INTERVENIDO

From the collective map to the cultural map:
a semiotic analysis of place awareness
Copyright ©2015 (Ximena Tobi).

MAPPING WORKSHOPS
CCom FSoc - UBA

A methodology for collecting first hand material to analyse the cultural codes that
determine place awareness and valuation.

Copyright ©2015 (Ximena Tobi).

HYPOTHESIS
CCom FSoc - UBA

Cultural codes

Place
awareness
& valuation

Sense of
community

Change of
habits
(Waste
separation)

Copyright ©2015 (Ximena Tobi).

THE TERRITORY
CCom FSoc - UBA

Copyright ©2015
(Ximena Tobi).

THE SUBJECT OF STUDY
CCom FSoc - UBA

13 faculties
One of these 13:

5 undergraduate studies
Sociology / Political Sciences / Social Work
Communication Sciences / Human Resources

25.000 students
2.000 lecturers
@unfernandezmas

300 employees

Copyright ©2015 (Ximena Tobi).

4,66 KM SEPARATES THE TWO BUILDINGS
CCom FSoc - UBA

Copyright ©2013 (Ximena Tobi).

DURING STUDENTS OCCUPATION OF THE BUILDING (2010)
CCom FSoc - UBA

“Twenty years. Nothing to celebrate”

Word game: “Edificando edificio edificante” =
“Building up an uplifting building”

Copyright ©2015 (Ximena Tobi).

THE MAIN DEMAND: A SINGLE BUILDING = UN EDIFICIO ÚNICO
CCom FSoc - UBA

Copyright ©2015 (Ximena Tobi).

MAPPING ICONOGRAPHY

Icons associated with space
More
More “action”
Places to
issues
frequented
spaces

places

improve. What
to do there?

Staying
places

Quiet places

Places promoting
community
integration

Favourite
places

Good
surprising
places/things

Emblematic
places

Meeting
points

Bad
surprising
places/things

Institutional

Potential
conflicts

Place
associated
memories/anecd
otes

Missing/lack
of things

Explicit
conflicts

Relevant
actions or

(emotional)

containment/supp
ort

Copyright ©2015 (Ximena Tobi).

THE SINGLE BUILDING: EDIFICIO ÚNICO

Santiago
del
Estero
wing

FOTO PLANO
San José
INTERVENIDO
wing

Humberto
Primo
wing

Copyright ©2015 (Ximena Tobi).

PATHWAY 1: POTENCIAL CONFLICT

Hallways and
emergency exit
occupied by
students
political groups
stands

Copyright ©2015 (Ximena Tobi).

PATHWAY 2: NEGATIVE SURPRISING THINGS

g
Co nfusin
m
clas sroo in t he
g
n
i
r
e
b
m
u
n
e
h
t
f
o
s
n ew pa rt It is
.
bu ilding
t
u
b
l
a
i
t
en
not sequ
e
h
t
n
i
d
repea te

Copyright ©2015 (Ximena Tobi).

PATHWAY 3: PLACES TO IMPROVE

a
Entrance open are
(conversódromo =
uld
talking-drome) co
t
be a meeting poin
o
for the Faculty t
its
h
t
i
w
h
c
u
o
t
n
i
t
ge
surrounding

Copyright ©2015 (Ximena Tobi).

PATHWAY 4: MISSING/LACK OF THINGS

l
a
n
o
i
t
u
t
i
The in st
s
k
c
a
l
g
n
pl anni
wer
s
n
a
o
t
vis ion
y
t
i
n
u
m
m
o
to th e c
needs.

Example:
students
study or
Finally,
or in an
the next

meeting points for
to work in groups,
just stay.
they sit on the floor
empty classroom until
lecture
begins.
Copyright
©2015 (Ximena Tobi).

PATHWAY 5: “ACTION VS QUIET PLACES”

ge
n
a
h
c
g
n
stro
a
on
s
i
i
t
i
e
s
r
n
e
a
h
r
T
a t
:
s
g
n
i
w
ally
u
s
i
v
between
d
n
isy a
o
n
e
h
t
del
o
g
a
from
i
t
n
a
ed S
t
a
n
and
i
m
m
a
l
t
a
c
con
e
o th
t
g
n
i
w
ing
s
a
Estero
e
l
p
y
uall
s
i
v
t
e
i
and
qu
é
s
o
J
n
Sa
wings of
Primo.

Copyright ©2015 (Ximena Tobi).

CODE: POWER STRUGGLE IN SPACE
CCom FSoc - UBA

• Occupying places shows preeminence (hallways and halls full of signs
of political activity groups). It is a concrete and permanent power
manifestation in opposition to the volatility of words.
• The classroom numbers repetition in the new building wings shows the
institutional will to separate instead of unify the space, trying to keep the
visual contamination only in the old wing.

Copyright ©2015 (Ximena Tobi).

CODE: INSTITUTIONAL
ABSENCE. THE DOOR IS OPEN
BUT THERE IS NO HOST

CCom FSoc - UBA

• The Faculty is under-communicated; it is not visible beyond the
structure (classrooms), except when brought to life by lecturers and
students during classes.
• Teaching is the basic Faculty purpose, even though there are many
other institutional activities that remain in the dark for most of the public.
The building lacks symbolic and physical space to communicate them.

Copyright ©2015 (Ximena Tobi).

PRELIMINARY CONCLUSION
CCom FSoc - UBA

Cultural codes

Place
awareness
& valuation

“Power struggle in
space”

The building as a
space of dispute.

“Institutional
absence: the door is
open but there is no
host”

Positive valuation
arise only in
comparison with
previous buildings.

Sense of
community

Belonging
(emotional) ties are
stablished among
groups of interest.
The institution is just
a provider.

Change of
habits
(Waste
separation)
Challenge.
Each actors’
significant
interlocutors should
communicate them
the institutional
awareness
messages.

Copyright ©2015 (Ximena Tobi).

TAKE AWAYS
CCom FSoc - UBA

Collective mapping as a user centric methodology to

collect voices and viewpoints.
The way that individuals interact with places and objects
is determined by their symbolic dimensions.
This methodology could be applied to study user
interaction in shopping malls, hospitals,
neighborhoods…
Semiotics complements qualitative research to reveal
“layers” of meaning, working below patterns of action
and attitudes.

Copyright ©2015 (Ximena Tobi).

Thank you!
Ximena Tobi

Acknowledgments / Special
thanks to:

Daniela Bruno - Communication
Sciences Academic Secretary FSoc – UBA 2012-2013.
@ximetobi
Alejandro Rascován
ximena@semioticastudio.c
María Elena Bitonte
Christian Dodaro
om
Pablo Hernández & Gustavo
Quintana
Diego Dufau
Victoria Tatcheva.
at
Ximena Diaz Alarcón & Ramiro
Fernández
Florencia Rossi, Karla Góngora
Sebastián Carenzo
Copyright ©2015 (Ximena Tobi).
Marcelo Loto Licensed under the Creative Commons
Attribution
Mauro
OliverNon-commercial No Derivatives (by-nc-nd)

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