Mobile Semiotics - signs and mobilities

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalPaper without publisher/journalResearch


This paper is about how to comprehend the mobile condition of contemporary life with a particular view to the signifying dimension of the environment and its ‘readability’. The paper explores the potentials of semiotics and its relationship to the new mobilities literature. The theoretical scope is therefore an attempt to mobilize semiotics by drawing on a central body of theory within and adjacent to the discipline. For instance the founding works of C. S. Peirce will be related to the contemporary notions of ‘geosemiotics’ by Scollon & Scollon. The paper’s theoretical claim is that semiotics hold a potential for mobilities studies if the awareness of seeing the environment as a semiotic layer and system can be sensitized to the insights of the ‘mobilities turn’. Empirically the paper tentatively explores the usefulness of a mobile semiotics approach to cases such as street signage, airport design, and wayfiding systems.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date21 Mar 2011
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2011
EventMobilities in Motion: New Approaches to Emergent and Future Mobilities - Philadelphia, United States
Duration: 21 Mar 201123 Mar 2011


ConferenceMobilities in Motion: New Approaches to Emergent and Future Mobilities
CountryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Paper for the conference ‘Mobilities in Motion: New Approaches to Emergent and Future Mobilities’, The Center for Mobilities Research and Policy at Drexel UniversityPhiladelphia, March 21st-23rd, 2011


  • Mobilities
  • Semiotics
  • Geosemiotics

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